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International Happiness Day: Go Out and Play

International Happiness Day: Go Out and Play

Children play. Nobody has to show them how to do it; they're just born knowing.  But as adults, we become so disconnected from it that we forget what it is and how to do it. Psychiatrist Stuart Brown, who founded the nonprofit organisation National Institute of Play in California, says: 'Play is an ancient, voluntary, inherently pleasurable, apparently purposeless activity or process that is undertaken for its own sake, and that strengthens our muscles and social skills, fertilises brain activity, tempers and deepens out emotions, take us out of time, and enables a...
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Wellcome Book Prize 2015: Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

Wellcome Book Prize 2015: Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

This book may not sound like an easy read. Chapter after chapter about the triumphs, tragedies and tribulations of a London-based neurosurgeon as he looks back over 40 years of treating serious accidents and illnesses. Blood, bone, brain and many tears. Doctors live with life and death decisions every day; they seem to be able to cut themselves off the human tragedy. But some, like Henry Marsh, can use what they see, hear, and ultimately do, to open us up to essential truths about life and what really matters. That’s why this book has made the shortlist of...
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Why Food is More Than Just Science

Why Food is More Than Just Science

Choosing, preparing and eating nourishing food has never been so complicated and involved. The health conscious have always paid careful attention to the calorie content of food and been sure to tick off their 5-a-day, but even they are struggling with the growing number of dietary issues that require attention and the opposing expert views that seem to surround each one. What hope for those with only a passing interest in healthy eating? One of the key reasons that eating has become so complicated is that modern society demands that the decisions that shape...
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Caring for Someone with Dementia

Caring for Someone with Dementia

Having dementia is very worrying. The stress leads to upsetting behaviour, and that is the sort of thing that people find hard to deal with at home. All of them will be solved more easily if there is a relaxed atmosphere at home. If someone is shouting, repeating themselves, refusing to eat, staying cool and tranquil would be a miracle.  So the secret is to put as much in place as possible to keep a stress-free background environment. This means avoiding over-stimulation - and everyone has different things that they find stimulating, so you have to decide for...
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Wellcome Book Prize Shortlist Announced

Wellcome Book Prize Shortlist Announced

This year’s Wellcome Book Prize shortlist is an amalgam of non-fiction and fiction books that as head of judges Bill Bryson said today, are “all accessible, engaging and beautifully written”. Deciding on the six books that would make the shortlist was “like being in the world’s best book club”, said the best-selling non-fiction author. The prize, which was relaunched last year with the strap line “books for the incurably curious”, is for publications that engage with some aspect of medicine, health or illness. As Ken Arnold, Head of Public Programmes at the...
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