My consultant haematologist has signed me off for another three months. White blood cell count is still normal.
(Sitta europaea) was on my bird feeders yesterday and today. Often seen in a woodland habitat, this nuthatch was a first for my garden. It was too quick for me to take a photo, so I nicked this drawing from off t’interweb.
A consultation with my haematologist has given me a period of remission. My blood tests show that my white blood cells are normal but with slight inflammatory markers. CT Scan is okay and consultant will see me, after more blood tests, in two months time. So I’m breathing a sigh of relief for the moment.
A random blood test in April this year discovered an ‘anomaly’. My GP suggested a referral to a haematologist due to an abnormally high amount of white blood cells in my bloodstream, suggestive of some kind of infection. I was subsequently diagnosed with T-prolymphocytic leukaemia. Given six months to live if I declined any treatment, I decided to submit to a sixteen week, three times a week, regime. The treatment was an intravenous infusion of ‘Alemtuzamab’ otherwise known as ‘MabCampath’.
After eighteen weeks of treatment my white blood cell count is down to normal, but my immune system is at rock bottom. A CT scan followed, then after blood tests I see my consultant at the end of September.
Coming soon after two heart operations in 2016 followed by a resection of the prostate I’m still alive and have just made my eightieth birthday. Happy days!
I was watching several species of birds on my feeders this morning when, wow! Picus viridis, aka the green woodpecker, alighted on my lawn and stayed for quite a while. Over 21 species visit my garden on a regular basis, but this was the first sight of a green woodpecker at home for me. Sadly it was scared off by the arrival of a squirrel, they’re after my nuts you know!
A new winter tick! I always thought that the Blackcap (Sylvia Atricapilla) was a summer visitor to the UK. But lo and behold a male blackcap was on my feeders this morning, a definite ID. Perhaps they want to migrate to the UK before a ‘no deal’ Brexit kicks in!
So much noise and furore regarding the disappearance and alleged murder of one man, namely Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. All this at a time when many thousands of innocent people are being killed in Yemen on a daily basis. This a war of Muslims on Muslims in the so-called religion of peace. That’s the crazy world of Islam!
Why are all political parties in the UK and in Europe, and civic leaders at every level, in denial regarding the threat to our values of freedom of expression, democracy and rule of law. I’m referring of course to what most ordinary people know and think, and that is the real threat posed by Islam to our society. It’s not Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, or Buddhists who commit atrocities in the name of their religion, or attempt to impose their barbaric stone age culture into our isles. Just check out the statistics, if you can be bothered; antisemitic attacks on individuals and synagogues, rape by Pakistanis, Somalis, and men from other sub Saharan Muslim countries, honour killings, female genital mutilation, forced marriages and the list goes on. Every crime against a woman in our society is deeply rooted in Muslim patriarchy.
Has the role of religion been used, or abused, in all this? Certainly not abused, but used and justified by reference to the Quran and Islamic culture.
There are approximately 15 million Jews, worldwide. As of 2017, Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 892 individuals, of whom 201 or 22.5% were Jews, although the total Jewish population comprises less than 0.2% of the world’s population. This means the percentage of Jewish Nobel laureates is at least 112.5 times or 11,250% above average.
Muslims have only 12 Nobel prize winners. Seven of the twelve are for the Peace prize; all out of 1.8 billion population.
So why the disparity and the apparent backwardness of the Muslim World?
The answer is religion, which poisons everything.
Worldwide, Muslims are currently more likely to adhere to literal religious beliefs than Christians or Jews, with no direct equivalent in Islam to the Enlightenment or Haskala. Combined with a much lower incidence of atheism, this often places Muslim societies at odds with certain aspects of science such as evolution (eg only 22% in secular Turkey believe in human evolution, and fewer elsewhere). Furthermore, literal religious beliefs are themselves intrinsically anti-science to an extent, in as far as they privilege revealed knowledge over falsifiable evidence. The large role of religion in politics and education in much of the Muslim World can reinforce this attitude.
The anti-Westernism of many Islamist ideologies can also lend itself to anti-science beliefs. Scientific discourse is often hindered by the lack of democracy in most of the Muslim World.