Archive for the 'Health Care' Category

Running (March 2012)

Generally a good month when I ran, although it had almost two weeks (11 days) off in the middle.

Count:  10 runs (February was 16; January was 10)

Distance:  73km (February was 95km; January was 57km)

Av. Pace:  5:12/km (February was 5:27/km; January was 5:48/km)

I’m now at 68 runs, covering 397km, in my current block of running (started on 10 Oct 2011) and it’s definitely showing results.  My run on 31 March (6.3km @ 4:27/km) was my fastest run over 5+ km since 1994 and possibly since late 1992.  In addition to my existing goals, I’ve now added a broader one of managing 800km (500 miles) in 2012.  That’s 67km/month.  Since I’ve averaged 75km/month for the last five, it should be entirely achievable if I stick with it.

All exercise is publicly visible here (on

Running (February 2012)

Okay, so I’ve actually been running again, however slowly, for a few months now.  Full details on my Running page.  February was pretty good; although the distances weren’t as great, I’d say better than last year.

Count:  16 runs (January was 10)

Distance:  95km (January was 57km)

Av. Pace:  5:27/km (January was 5:48/km)

My current block of running is far and away my best in so long it doesn’t matter.  338km over 60 runs, spanning almost five months.  If I keep this up for another few months I might just be able to start describing myself as a runner again. 🙂

All exercise is publicly visible here (on

Running (February 2011)

My resumption of running continues.  February managed to nail January in both distance and pace.

Count:  14 runs (January was 16)

Distance:  100km (January was 94km)

Av. Pace:  5:39/km (January was 5:59/km)

I’ve now managed over 200km in total, which was #5 of my running goals, and which also makes this the best block of running I’ve had in terms of total distance for over 13 years:

All exercise is publicly visible here (on

Running (January 2011)

I resumed my stop-start relationship with running on Christmas Day.  January has been my best month for running in over 12 years (I’ve lost all records prior to 1998).

Count:  16 runs (previous best was 13 in Feb 1998, Jul 1998 and Aug 2008).

Distance:  94km (previous best was 74km in Feb 1998, followed by 69km in Aug 2008).

Av. Pace:  5:59/km (Feb 1998 was 5:05/km, but we’ll ignore that for now).

I’ve now hit 100km in total, too, which brings up #2 on my running goals.

All exercise is publicly visible here (on  I’m finding the chatter with a mate and one of my brothers (the other being a lazy git) in Australia to be a real help.

In today’s episode of Politically Dicey But Important Topics Of Research …

The newspaper article summarising the research:

People who live in countries where disease is rife may have lower IQs because they have to divert energy away from brain development to fight infections, scientists in the US claim.

The controversial idea might help explain why national IQ scores differ around the world, and are lower in some warmer countries where debilitating parasites such as malaria are widespread, they say.

Researchers behind the theory claim the impact of disease on IQ scores has been under-appreciated, and believe it ranks alongside education and wealth as a major factor that influences cognitive ability.


The actual research article:


In this study, we hypothesize that the worldwide distribution of cognitive ability is determined in part by variation in the intensity of infectious diseases. From an energetics standpoint, a developing human will have difficulty building a brain and fighting off infectious diseases at the same time, as both are very metabolically costly tasks. Using three measures of average national intelligence quotient (IQ), we found that the zero-order correlation between average IQ and parasite stress ranges from r = ?0.76 to r = ?0.82 (p < 0.0001). These correlations are robust worldwide, as well as within five of six world regions. Infectious disease remains the most powerful predictor of average national IQ when temperature, distance from Africa, gross domestic product per capita and several measures of education are controlled for. These findings suggest that the Flynn effect may be caused in part by the decrease in the intensity of infectious diseases as nations develop.

For reference, the Flynn effect:

The Flynn effect describes an increase in the average intelligence quotient (IQ) test scores over generations (IQ gains over time). Similar improvements have been reported for other cognitions such as semantic and episodic memory.[1]  The effect has been observed in most parts of the world at different rates.

The Flynn effect is named for James R. Flynn, who did much to document it and promote awareness of its implications. The term itself was coined by the authors of The Bell Curve.[2]

The effect’s increase has been continuous and approximately linear from the earliest years of testing to the present. There are numerous explanations to the Flynn effect and also some criticism. There is currently a discussion if the Flynn effect has ended in some developed nations since the mid 1990s.