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John Burns' Blog

Welsh lesson; Cawl; Scientific research

Published: Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Welsh Lesson
Today’s Welsh word (which has been suggested by Rowan) is “pili-pala”. It means “butterfly”. It is a popular name for a children’s playgroup (meithrin). 

Cawl
Our friend Harri invited us to a Plaid Cymru St David’s Day celebration last night. It was in the Dragon Hotel in Swansea which was always the foremost hotel in Swansea. The last time I dined there was over 40 years ago at my brother’s wedding reception. Last night I went to the bar and asked for the wine list. The waiter gave it to me but explained: “the prices are wrong;  they’ve been increased today.” That’s service for you.

The Welsh cawl (broth) was rather unusual in that it was two courses in one as it came with a stuffed chicken joint sitting in the centre of the plate. It was tasty but that must be the first time I’ve eaten soup with a knife and fork. Perhaps they are short of plates?

This all sounds a bit grumpy but it was actually an enjoyable evening with guest speaker Tyrone O’Sullivan, who led the employee buyout of Tower Colliery when it was closed by the Government in the 1990s (q.v.)

Scientific Research
A few months ago we heard that impotence in men may be an early indicator of heart disease. This month a study published in the journal Archives of Neurology suggests that adults with hearing loss may face a higher risk of dementia and perhaps Alzheimer’s.

At the risk of seeming a smug know-it-all, I think this is all entirely predictable. The basis of holistic health is that we should consider the body as a whole, rather than separate parts which develop disease independently of each other. Degenerative disease will affect a number of organ systems at the same time; the progression and severity of degeneration will vary according to our genetic predisposition and lifestyle.

I see great opportunities here for the research industry. Investigating links between various permutations of the different types of degenerative disease could keep them in work and funds for decades.

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