Thursday, 18 September 2014

52 weeks in public health research, part 37

Posted by Jean Adams

The seminar room and cafe in our building are often used for small conferences by groups from around the university. I snapped this at about 7pm in the evening when one such meeting had well and truly turned the corner from conference to social. We never have beer, tobacco and biscuits at public health meetings. Honest.

This is the 'famine wall' on Beinn Dearg near Ullapool. This part of it is more than 1000m above sea level. It runs for many miles and is more than 8ft wide and 8ft high in places. It was constructed in the 1840s by farmers whose harvest had failed in return for money, or food. There are remnants of many of these 'make work' projects all over the north of Scotland (and I presume Ireland too). It would have been considered unseemly just to give starving people money (as per the modern welfare state). Instead, humanitarian landlords thought up projects such as these to keep their tenants occupied and fed. You can see that it was a beautiful day when we were there, although you can't see the chilling winds strong enough to knock us over at times. The conditions up there are likely to be dreadful more often than not. Despite the problems with the current welfare state, I still think it's better than having people build useless walls at 3000ft in Scottish mountain weather.

I took this picture of lemon cake at afternoon tea time at the recent meeting of the World Public Health Nutrition Association. I was fully intending of making the usual comment about the ironic placement of unhealthy food at a public health nutrition meeting. Turns out most of is was left at the end of the tea break.

This is an interesting development that I noticed at a petrol station recently. It was quite a substantial promotion on Coke Life - sweetened with stevia and with about two-thirds of the calories of red Coke. There's an interesting discussion of the 'natural' and 'low(er) calorie' claim here. Personally, I think two-thirds of the calories of red Coke, is still a lot of calories.

Just to remind you:

Each Thursday of 2014 we’ll try and post around four pictures on the Fuse blog that capture our weeks in public health research, from the awe-inspiring to the everyday and mundane. Given that more of the latter than the former exists in my life, I foresee problems compiling 208 images worth posting on my own. So this is going to have to be a group project. Send me an image (or images) with a sentence or two describing what aspect of your week in public health research they sum up and I’ll post them as soon as I can. You don’t have to send four together – we can mix and match images from different people in the same week.

Normal rules apply: images you made yourself are best; if you use someone else’s image please check you’re allowed to first; if anyone’s identifiable in an image, make sure they’re happy for it to be posted; nothing rude; nothing that breaks research confidentiality etc.

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