Monday, July 30, 2007

age and risk factor

We were discussing some eye diseases such as macula degeneration, retinal detachment and retinal artery occlusion in the eye tutorial given by a registrar. One of my groupmate suddenly asked why age is always a risk factor in some of the eye diseases that we have discussed.

The registrar said he doesn't exactly know. He further told us that age is always associated with any diseases. As we get older, we are more likely to get one disease or another. It is the way of life. People dies due illnesses. The only way to prevent age as a risk factor is to stay young or die early :).

It is an interesting answer. Somehow it reminds me of this hadith...

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Allah will not accept the excuse of any person whose instant of death is delayed till he is sixty years of age."

[Sahih Bukhari, Book 76, hadith no 428]

Another interesting story I found is this: The cat who can predict death.

Friday, July 27, 2007

first week of neuro

It was quite a busy week. Our PBL case this week was stroke. It requires thorough knowledge of the structure of the brain and related nerves.

The hospital that I'm attached to, has three campuses and we usually rotates around only two campus, Austin and Repat. There is free shuttle bus between the two campus and I usually park my car at Repat since the parking at Austin is relatively expensive. However, there were many times when I missed the bus. It took me around 10-20 minutes to travel from my home to Repat depending on whether I'm stuck in a traffic jam or not. Whenever I missed the bus, I prefer not to wait for the next bus which will come in another 15 minutes. Within that time, I will be able to reach Austin by walking :).

I guess if this trend continues throughout this semester ( I mean, walking from Repat to Austin), I might shed some kg from my weight. Just for your information, Austin is located at the hilltop.

How to survive the first week of neuro rotation?
  1. Learn the arterial territories of the brain.
  2. Cranial nerve.
  3. CT and MRI.
  4. Upper and lower limb examination.
  5. Upper motor neuron and lower motor neuron lesion. Know the differences between these two disorders.
  6. ALS, DCML and motor tracts.
  7. Parkinson and the structure of basal ganglia.
There are still a lot that I need to revise for neurology. I have not covered 12 cranial nerves in detail yet.

For non-medic, cranial nerve is a special group of nerves that connect the brain to special part of the face and shoulder. For example, some cranial nerves are connected to ear, eye, face muscles, tongue and shoulder muscles. You can imagine nerve as wire that delivers information between brain and any part of our body. Anything that disconnects nerve will cause paralysis of the organ that the nerve is connected to. This is what usually happens when someone has stroke.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ski trip

I went out for skiing yesterday at Lake Mountain. It was about 2-3 hours drive from the city. This is the first time I am skiing. I went there with many Malaysian students and the trip was fun and a bit exhausting.
The snow at Lake Mountain was thick and some places even waist deep. The scenery was amazing and a bit cold. We even managed to make instant 'ais kacang' using snow, baked beans and creamed milk B-)
The ski trails has many path and we choose the easiest route. The path is about few kilometres long and it was the most tiring journey I have made using ski. Since this is my first time using ski, I often falls and trip over for every 10 metres. The worst is when we tried to ski down a slope. I am able to ski properly down the hill but I don't know how to stop or slow down. As the speed increases, I became a bit anxious and lost the balance. This happened every time I skied down a steep terrain.

Some people even crashed against each other and few people almost hit a tree on the way down. For a beginner, this sport can be a bit dangerous if you are not able to balance properly.
In the last 100 metres of the ski trail, after countless falls and suffering enough bruises at my knee, ankle and wrist and pain at my back, I gave up. I took off the ski and started walking :). Next time I am planning to ski, I should read some tips on how to ski properly and safely.

UPDATE: The picture of 'ais kacang' :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

cumulative updates

First day was a tiring day. We started around 8.30 am and finished around 5pm. It was a busy schedule and I will need some time to get used to this kind of schedule. In the past, that is when we were studying medicine at university, we have a more relaxed timetable and lots of free time.

Now, the timetable for the clinical years seems like there are a lot to be covered and the tutorials will be flexible. If the tutor is too busy, he/she will postponed to it on later/earlier date. We have to prepare for rescheduling at any time. This semester is 18 weeks without any mid-semester break at all. We have three 6-weeks rotation for this semester. The only official holiday that we could get is 3 day break in between the rotation. I would not call Friday, Saturday and Sunday as a long break though. We have to prepare for the next rotation.

Fortunately/unfortunately our exam is not that long. From the timetable that they gave to us, it seems the exam will finish in less than a week. And I think the gap for something like SWOT VAC is about 3 days. Never ever study last minute :).

My group has the opportunity to have cardio tute right on the first day.The tutor expects us to know everything about cardio since we have learned that in pre-clinical years. Perhaps the tutor forgot that most of us have one year of holiday research year prior to clinical years. When the tutor asked us to describe what causes three waves in JVP, my mind became blur. When the next question was asking about differential diagnosis on heart murmur, I could not remember. I guess one year of doing research has totally diluted my medical knowledge.

p/s: I extremely need lots of time to do revision now.

A bit sad to know that one of our medical staff that helps us a lot since first year has passed away due to cancer.

Friday, July 13, 2007


This is part of human brain structure. It is located right in the middle of the brain. My new semester will start with neurology,that is the study of the brain and nerves.

This is part of human brain structure. It is located right in the middle of the brain. My new semester will start with neurology,that is the study of the brain and nerves.

It is tough to master the structure of the brain. When I was first introduced to the neuroanatomy back in Semester 4 [almost 2 years ago], it took me weeks to understand the whole structure and function. You have to view the whole structure in 3D and able to imagine the impact of any damage/lesion to any part of the brain.

Why put the title as diencephalon? Learning about brain and its related structure will introduce to lots of new [sometimes hard to pronounce and decipher] medical jargon.

If you see any medical students who are studying neuroanatomy [the anatomy of the nervous system], you might able to hear them talking in a foreign language ;)

Related post

Changing blog direction

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mac-alike dock menu

This is a rather interesting application of CSS and Javascript. Click here to see the demo created by ndesign.

Another version that I found on the net is this one. Cool.

With advanced CSS technique, you could modify the code and put it in the blogger template. This technique could be improved if internet browsers support vector graphics. If this format is supported, that would be totally awesome.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Changing blog direction

For the past few weeks, I have been blogging on Blogger-related stuff such as displaying my new blogger templates, blogger hacks and tips on web design. These posts were written to fill my part time interest which is to design blog templates.

Now, my winter holiday almost at its end. I guess I have to stop blogging about blogger layouts and started to blog about my mundane life as a medical student :). If I have time, I will try to create another blog to transfer my posts on Blogger hacks and blogger layouts.

I still have another one week before the new semester starts. I guess I should do some revision after one year break from medical school :D.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tagged for charity

I have seen few bloggers did this meme. I'm not tagged by anyone but since this is for charity, I would like to join the effort too :).

This is started by Mr Idham. I never met him in person though. By doing this meme, he will contribute RM 127 (roughly AUD 50) towards Darul Izzah orphanage, on behalf of those bloggers who completed this tag before 26th August 2007. Once you have completed this tag, leave a comment at his blog to let him know.

Instead of direct donation to the orphanage, this tag will hopefully highlight the struggle of those children. This is my guess of the reason behind this tag :).

By doing this meme you are contributing RM127 to the Darul Izzah Orphanage...

The meme is about completing at least seventeen out of the following twenty seven sentences.......
  1. A person is only as good as how strong he believes in faith/religion.
  2. Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity (Kahlil Gibran)
  3. To love is a characteristic that make people more humane. Without love, humanity will suffer.
  4. Money makes me rich and gives me an opportunity to help others.
  5. I miss my family.
  6. My way of saying I care is by to listen attentively to other people problems even though I could not help a lot.
  7. I try to spread love and happiness by helping other people.
  8. Pick the flowers when they fully bloom.
  9. To love someone is to to share happy and bitter moments with the other person.
  10. Beauty is something that in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears (Edgar Allen Poe).
  11. When I was thirteen, what I remember the most was my experience living in UK.
  12. When I was twenty one, I remember the excitement of having a personal blog (refers to this blog) :)
  13. I am most happy when I'm not sad ;)
  14. Nothing makes me happier than a clean and well-organised house.
  15. If I can change one thing, I will change my past attitude.
  16. If smiles were able to heal the wounds of the heart, then I would smile often.
  17. Wouldn't it be nice if we could have a life without any misery.
  18. If you want to achieve your own ambition, then you have to work hard for it. There is no short cut in life.
  19. Money is not everything but sometimes it is able to alleviate other people's burden.
  20. The most touching moments I have experienced is to learn that my grandmother used to babysit me at the time she is dying. Not much I could do except my prayers.
  21. I smile when I'm happy
  22. When I am happy, I smile :D
  23. If only I don't have to do a research for my medical degree, then I would graduate one year earlier.
  24. The best thing I did yesterday was to learn something new about CSS.
  25. If I ever write a book, I will give it this title,"Ways to achieve ultimate happiness in life"
  26. One thing I must do before I die is to leave a good memory to my family and relatives
  27. Doing this meme, I feel like there are a lot of things to do to alleviate the ever increasing world problems.

I'm not tagging anyone to do this though :).

Useful links for new Blogger

Understanding new Blogger template/layout
  1. De-constructing Blogger Template. One of the earliest attempt to understand the code behind new Blogger layout.
  2. Understanding new Blogger template. Part 1, 2 and 3. Detailed analysis of new Blogger template.
  3. Blogger Help - Layout. The explanation given here is rather technical and requires some basic knowledge on programming. Not exactly helpful for average users though.
  4. Creating a new blogger template from scratch. Part 1, 2, 3 and 4. This blog will help you to build your own blog template and this series is intended for blog users who do not know anything about CSS and HTML.
  5. Tutorial on blogger template. Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. This tutorial will guide to understand further on new blogger layouts.
Problems with new Blogger.
  1. Blogger Status
  2. Known Issues
  3. Real Blogger Status.
  4. Blogger Help Group. There are millions of blogspot users. Chances are that there will be some people who have experience the same problem as yours. Please do not expect quick reply from Blogger Employees. Please exercise patience and search the group first before posting your own problem.
Blogger hacks
There are thousands of blog/websites that offer hacks for new Blogger. I will try to list some of the important websites.
  1. Blogger Hacks Wiki. Well, this should be a good starting place :).
  2. Beautiful Beta Wiki.
  3. Blogger Hack Search. This searches 15 sites that offer Blogger hacks.
  4. Hackosphere. I like his Neo template. Quite cool.
  5. Blogger Hacked.
  6. Hoctro
  7. Phydeaux3
  8. Last Word
  9. Blogger University
  10. Blogger for Dummies.
  11. Google [Please note that google is a verb ;) ]. If all else fails, there are always Google/Yahoo/MSN to help you.
Blogger templates
Same case as blogger hacks. There are millions of websites offering blogger layout. I will try to focus on websites that specifically designed new Blogger layouts for free. Any websites that are only offering Blogger template for the old Blogger will be excluded.
  1. Gecko & Fly
  2. Blogger templates
  3. New Blogger template
  4. the Blogger workshop
  5. Free templates
  6. Final Sense
General tips for serious bloggers
Many blogspot users try to increase their revenue by putting Google Adsense code in their blogs. If you are serious in attracting large number of web visitors, this category should help you. Please remember that high quality content will be the key to increase your blog visitors. This is applicable to all range of blogging platforms, be it Bloggers, Wordpress or your own domain.
  1. With more than 26000 subscribers, this should highlight the importance of this website. Highly recommended for those who are serious about blogging.
  2. Copyblogger.
  3. 55 essential articles every serious blogger should read.
  4. Google Adsense - Facts, FAQ and tools by Smashing Magazine.
  5. Google Page Rank: What do we know about it? by Smashing Magazine.
This post will be updated in the future whenever I find interesting links to add. If you know any important links that I miss, please put it in the comment.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Few Blogger hacks

Nakul has asked me few questions on Blogger hacks. I will give the explanation here and hopefully it will benefit other people as well.

Hide Blogger navigation bar
Insert this in your b:skin
#navbar-iframe {
Use Blogger custom search engine in layout

It is important for you to hide blogger navigation bar first. I don't think you would like to see two search box in the same layout :). Put this code on anywhere where you want it to be displayed.
<form action="" id="searchthis" method="get" style="display: inline;">
<input id="b-query" maxlength="200" name="q" size="30" type="text" />
<input alt="Search" id="b-searchbtn" src="" align="top" hspace="1" type="image" />
Replace yourblogname with your blog address. Maxlength refers to the maximum number of characters eg letters and numbers, that can be put into your search box. Size refers to the length of your search box. For example, the length of my search box is 30 characters. src refers to the image of search button. You can change this link to your own search button. Perhaps, you want to change the search button into a magnifying glass :).

If you would like to use standard search button, Replace this code
<input alt="Search" id="b-searchbtn" src="" align="top" hspace="1" type="image" />
with this code
<input id='b-searchbtn' type='submit' value='Search' />
How to add social bookmarks
Full credits goes to Beautiful Beta. Please refer to this post for further instruction :).

How to change date header format into a date calendar icon
This hack is achieved by using an image. All my new blogger layouts have this hack. The image for this layout is this one .

If you would like to use this image for your blog, insert this code in b:skin
.date-header {
font: normal normal normal 10px/100% Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
padding: 22px 4px 0 0;
margin: 0 10px;
background: url('') no-repeat;

Next, go to your setting tab and click formatting. Use the following options
  • Language: English (United States)
  • Date Header Format: Month Day Year. Please ensure that the month is in abbreviation form. For example 15 September 2007 will be written as Sept 15 2007.

Related post
Useful links for new Blogger