January Blessings – A.I., Wind, Soul, and the Medical Mind

A list of many things that have blessed me in the past few weeks.

The Mind & Soul

  • AI Dungeon 2
    • “AI Dungeon 2, a text adventure created by developer Nick Walton that allows you to input any verb or action you desire. Yes, you read that right. Anything.”
  • Medicine and the Mind — The Consequences of Psychiatry’s Identity Crisis
    • A fascinating read from the NEJM!
    • “Biologic psychiatry has thus far failed to produce a comprehensive theoretical model of any major psychiatric disorder, any tests that can be used in a clinic to diagnose clearly defined major psychiatric disorders, or any guiding principle for somatic treatments to replace the empirical use of medications.”
    • “Biologic knowledge is foundational to good psychiatry, but we believe that misapprehension of its limitations is stunting the field from within and subjecting it to manipulation from without by corporate and administrative interests that, intentionally or not, strive to benefit from a falsely simplified and deterministic formulation of mental illness and its treatment.”
  • “Epiphany” by Joanie Mackowski
    • “. . . the heart caught in the deity’s hem and haw, the oh unfurling”
    • “from our chest like a bee from our cup of coffee, an autochthonous greeting: there. Who saw it?”
  • Death Rehearsal – Dec 31 – Daily Devotional from Solid Joy
    • My commute to work is about 50 minutes each day. I have found so much wealth in using the time to meditate, pray, and do my daily devotional. This is one devotional I found as a refreshing take on how to view the end of the year.
    • “I suppose for some of you the thought of dying is so morbid, so gloomy, so fraught with grief and pain that you do your best to keep it out of your minds, especially during holidays. I think that is unwise and that you do yourself a great disservice. I have found that there are few things more revolutionizing for my life than a periodic pondering of my own death.”
  • Caring for the Soul in Primary Care Behavioral Health
    • Really blessed by this. Such a beautiful understanding of mind, body, emotions, and spirit.
    • “Instilling hope is a major component for growth in therapy; spirituality is a key vehicle for that hope. After all, we are souls that happen to have bodies and not just bodies that happen to have souls.”
  • Iran: Yesterday and Today
    • “Join Rick as he explores the most surprising and fascinating land he’s ever visited: Iran. In a one-hour, ground-breaking travel special on public television, you’ll discover the splendid monuments of Iran’s rich and glorious past, learn more about the 20th-century story of this perplexing nation, and experience Iranian life today in its historic capital and in a countryside village.”
    • “Most important, you’ll meet the people of this nation whose government so exasperates our own. “
    • I’m thinking about my country, politics, and war. I believe art and story speak to the heart which shapes the mind and thus our mouths and hands. An arrow upwards is Godly.


  • One of the best White Coat Invest Podcasts
    • “Managing Student Loans and When to Pay for Advice- Podcast #138” is hands down the best episode I’ve listened to from the WCI.
  • Physicians should not endorse the word “endorse”
    • A personal pet peeve of mine.
    • “For example, if a patient “endorses” antisocial behavior, is she stating that she feels justified in exhibiting such behav­ior? Do students who “endorse” drug use approve of drug use? Another example: Youth who “endorse” gang member­ship have merely confirmed that they belonged to a gang at some time.”
  • You Are Unvaccinated and Got Sick. These Are Your Odds.
    • One of the best patient-centered/patient-perspective graphs of the risks and benefits of vaccines.
    • While, the NNT and NNH (number needed to treat/harm) are super valuable for doctors to understand vaccines and comparing treatments; these picture comparisons are exactly what my patients need!
  • Measles Antibody Levels in Young Infants
    • “Most infants were susceptible to measles by 3 months of age in this elimination setting. Our findings inform important policy discussions relating to the timing of the first dose of measles-containing vaccine and infant postexposure prophylaxis recommendations.”
  • Amount and Intensity of Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Lower Cancer Risk
    • A great study from the Journal of Clinical Oncology showing how exercise correlates to cancer risk.
    • “Engagement in recommended amounts of activity (7.5-15 MET hours/week) was associated with a statistically significant lower risk of 7 of the 15 cancer types studied, including colon (8%-14% lower risk in men), breast (6%-10% lower risk), endometrial (10%-18% lower risk), kidney (11%-17% lower risk), myeloma (14%-19% lower risk), liver (18%-27% lower risk), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (11%-18% lower risk in women).”
  • How to Identify, Understand, and Unlearn Implicit Bias in Patient Care
    • This Family Practice Management Journal article has a beautiful graph about fighting personal implicit bias.
    • “Individuation: This tactic relies on gathering specific information about the person interacting with you to prevent group-based stereotypic inferences. Family physicians are trained to build and maintain relationships with each individual patient under their care. Our own social identities intersect with multiple social groupings, for example, related to sexual orientation, ethnicity, and gender. Within these multiplicities, we can find shared identities that bring us closer to people, including shared experiences (e.g., parenting), common interests (e.g., sports teams), or mutual purpose (e.g., surviving cancer).”

Asian-America & Race

  • Pixar’s Latest Short Has a Korean Grandma Struggling to Give Her Grandson a Better Life
    • My wife (who is Korean) and I (Filipino) were crying to “Float” and we just found out about the Korean Pixar short CGI animated film in Disney Plus Streaming Service app! Prepare to cry!
    • Also, so many things to ponder. Koreans have a thing about sacrifice; Filipinos about shame. Both are about flying/floating!?
  • Why Baybayin and Indigenous languages are still relevant to young Filipinos
    • “We had our own sophisticated technology. If you look at the evidence of language, you can see how intricate this knowledge is – seafaring, agriculture, Baybayin and others. Not all ethnolinguistic groups have writing systems, but it doesn’t mean they weren’t educated on the ways of the world. I think we’re going back to realising how important these indigenous knowledge systems are.” 
  • 15 Most Popular Filipino Desserts
    • “Being an archipelago with different regions, the Philippines offers a wide variety of specialty desserts made primarily of rice, coconut and fruits that are widespread in this tropical country.”
    • “With agriculture being their main source of livelihood, rice has been a staple food of the Philippines. Because of this, rice is not only eaten with dishes but is also an ingredient in a lot of Filipino desserts. Some types of dessert call for rice flour while others call for glutinous or sticky rice.”
  • Parasite – The Perfect Montage
    • I am such a fan of NerdWriter on youtube and another great take on a beautiful Korean film.
  • Blue Scholars – “Joe Metro”
    • “It’s gettin’ serious y’all; You can even hear the rebel call; Gettin’ off, leavin’ hella pieces on the walls; Seen it all, sittin’ sideways with my townmates; Only place left where majority is brown-faced”
  • American history textbooks can differ across the country, in ways that are shaded by partisan politics.
    • “The textbooks cover the same sweeping story, from the brutality of slavery to the struggle for civil rights. The self-evident truths of the founding documents to the waves of immigration that reshaped the nation.”
    • “The books have the same publisher. They credit the same authors. But they are customized for students in different states, and their contents sometimes diverge in ways that reflect the nation’s deepest partisan divides.”
  • Filipinos are hilarious
    • Another funny episode from a podcast I listen to regularly: This Filipino American Life.
    • Bagoong packets!
  • The Rise (and Stall) of the Boba Generation
    • “Bubble tea’s conjuring of home, then, works on two levels: a yearning for the imagined home denied to us by the diasporic condition, as well as a sense of nostalgia for the closest approximation — the boba shop, functioning as a “third place” in both the literal and figurative sense.”
    • “Asian-American expressions of longing for the boba shops of one’s youth are not just about the physical space, or the drink, or the companionship; they’re as much about the time, however fleeting, spent within the bubble of comfort and belonging. It’s about missing the period of your life when you could afford to let bubble tea occupy such a large part of it.”

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