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I can’t decide whether to start blogging again.

I’m pretty sure no-one cares what I write.

Happy New Year everyone. I need to make some resolutions to make me a happier Jemma.

x

Recently, to keep myself occupied during this moneyless Summer, I have been making animals out of a special clay called FIMO which you bake in the oven, and it becomes hard.

I thought it may be interesting to share my creations with you. Some inspiration came from existing models I found on Google Images.

From the Opinon: Letters section of New Scientist magazine.

From Nancy Blake

Helen Pitcher highlights the strength of the nocebo effect, in which negative expectations can produce harmful effects (16 May, p30). A study of the language used in the Milton model of hypnosis could help doctors who wonder how to inform patients of potential side effects without suggesting that they acquire them.

If I ask you not to think of a purple cow, you first have to visualise it, and the image then stays in your mind as you try not to think of it. If you are subsequently asked to visualise a brown cow in some detail, the image of the purple cow disappears.

Similarly, saying to a piano student, ‘This is the hard part of the piece’ will produce negative expectations, raising the student’s anxiety level. Saying instead, ‘This part isn’t easy, yet’ will cause the unconscious, which doesn’t deal well with a negative, to respond to the word ‘easy’.

These quirks of the unconscious mind can be exploited in medical treatment. When prescribing a drug, the doctor could say that in most cases, the patient can expect it to produce a particular improvement, and that they have every reason to believe the patient will respond in that way. The doctor could then go on to explain that occasionally something different might occur, but in such a case it is just a matter of discontinuing the medication and contacting the doctor so that the situation can be sorted out. The emphasis here should be on the process of ‘sorting it out’.

This sets up an expectation of specific improvements: the placebo effect. It builds in a sense of confidence, as the patient knows the doctor is aware that the situation might change and will be able to handle changes accordingly. This should minimise anxiety even if side effects occur, reassuring the patient that things still can go well.

Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, UK”

(New Scientist, 6 June 2009, p26)

In New Scientist magazine, I read this cute mini-article:

Penguins are not visible from space, but their faeces are. British Antarctic Survey scientists have used satellite images to locate the reddish-brown guano stains of emperor penguin colonies. The work will allow the team to monitor the penguins’ response to climate change”

Good old scientists! 🙂

(New Scientist, 6 June 2009, p7)

Today I went to the garden centre with my Nan, and we got some lovely stuff to plant, things that are going to be colouful and flowery come summer. I spent all day using back muscles and getting dirty fingernails, but it was worth it. I filled about 10 different pots with small plants, and transplanted two trees into bigger pots. I do like this gardening lark!

I love being green-fingered. Since I moved away from London, I haven’t actually done any gardening – that’s a whole five years! Shocking really. It’s because we don’t have a huge garden and I’ve not really cared about it before, as it was more of a concrete jungle. However, my grandparents have recently given it a big tidy-up and it looks like something to be proud of now!

At least I can see some physical proof of the day’s hard work, unlike revision or something, where you don’t see any proof until you do the exam…

Here you can see a photo (not mine, unfortunately) of the Papillion/Spanish/Bunny-Eared Lavender I planted today.

It’s Easter Sunday, and I made sure I got dropped home in the morning especially to be with my family. What a mistake.

We had lunch, and then my family sat down doing nothing for hours so I went upstairs to try to entertain myself on the computer….and I sat here for hours and hours and hours.

I’ve only been home since Friday and already I feel so bored and alone. I wish I wasn’t an only child. Or maybe I wish I was constantly busy. I don’t even know.

It’s true, it’s very nearly Spring! I can feel it in the air. Everything’s fresh and green, and I see buds appearing secretively.

It’s not bitter cold outside anymore, the sun comes out now and again, and it makes my day happy 🙂 I even have rabbits outside my window to add to the Spring scene (even though they’re here all year round!).

Isn’t life great sometimes?

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