Tis the Season

Rudolph and his amazing nasal microvasculature
The halls are decked, the lights are up, and the presents are wrapped and sit enticingly under the tree. Outside there is light snow falling, and somewhere in the distance I can hear Bing Crosby crooning. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. There are elves in the hallways, Christmas cookies around every corner, and Santa hats appearing in people’s cubicles. The signs of festivity are everywhere, even in the unlikeliest of places…

Last week I came across the British Medical Journal Christmas Edition for 2012. Not being a regular reader, I was unaware of this delightful annual tradition. The Christmas edition features spoof articles and whimsical studies, presented with thorough methods sections and all the usual accompaniments of a well-considered scientific article. Here are a few of my favorites from this year’s edition:

Continue reading “Tis the Season”

Make Your List, Check It Twice, and Please Try to Stay Focused

We are almost a week past Black Friday, and, if you were one who ventured out to shop all the deals, I applaud you: you have more dedication and shopping fortitude than I, and I certainly do hope your bruises and scratches are healing nicely. It sounds like it was brutal out there. Black Friday is traditionally considered the start of the holiday shopping season here in the United States, where many of us begin the three to four week slog through the stores, catalogs and websites, buying up those perfect gifts for our friends and family, our poor credit cards creaking gamely under the weight of all that shopping. Continue reading “Make Your List, Check It Twice, and Please Try to Stay Focused”

Thinking yourself thin at the holiday table

Woman standing on weighing scale, low section

So, picture this: you’re at a friend’s holiday party, full of good cheer. Maybe you have a drink in hand, you’re laughing and catching up with people, swinging regularly by the candlelit dining room table, which is overflowing with the most glorious food: cheeses you can’t pronounce, fancy little appetizers nestled in puff pastry, shrimp cocktail, dips and nuts and something incredible with bacon and…oh my, is that an entire table over there just with desserts? You nosh and nibble all night long, until you head home, exhausted, and fall into bed. You’re a little stuffed from those last four rumaki, three spinach balls and the frosted sugar cookie you washed down with a tumbler of egg nog, but you’re pretty happy, nonetheless. You lie there in bed and think: “My goodness, I have THREE more of those to go to before I even head home for the holidays to Mom’s cooking.”

And then you go to work the next day, and four people have brought cookies. And fudge. And chocolate-dipped pretzels. You start wondering if you should ask Santa for some new pants. Bigger ones. With the elastic waistband. Or maybe just chuck it all and order a muumuu. Continue reading “Thinking yourself thin at the holiday table”