What I'm Reading (Apr. 20)

By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA — Apr 20, 2023
The Chicken Economy Ode to an IBM Selectric Can a patient advocate make a difference? Do plants think?
Image by Катерина Кучеренко from Pixabay


“To prepare a tasty crispy chicken sandwich, you need a four-pound bird.

Chick-fil-A has always used smaller birds for its chicken sandwiches. Similarly, KFC says its fresh chicken on-the-bone comes from smaller chickens.

And that is the problem.”

In a world that devours chickens, with roughly four chickens for every human, how they are grown and what size matters. From EconLife, Where a Little Chicken Makes a Big Difference


I grew up with a Royal manual typewriter, but my mother, who was in school, got an IBM Selectric and one with correction tape! I miss it so. Here is another writer speaking an ode to the typewriter

“But back to non-electric, manual machines: It’s never lost on me how much my piano and my typewriter resemble each other: the infinite possibilities of a set number of keys in front of you. (And if you open up the machine, you can see how it works while you “play” it.) The piano and the typewriter are “digital” devices, in the sense that you use your digits to operate them. (David Sudlow wrote a whole book that compares playing the piano to typing on the typewriter: Talk’s Body: A Meditation Between Two Keyboards ).”

From Austin Kleon, Not Writing, But Typing


“As someone who has Parkinson’s, up until now, I think I could be forgiven for feeling a little left behind in biology’s century. Going all the way back to 1817, when James Parkinson first described the disease in the scientific literature, it’s been a clinically defined condition. You knew you had it because it was your doctor’s opinion that you had it, after giving you a once-over and deciding where you fell from one to five on a rating scale.”

An opinion piece by a Parkinson’s patient, Michael J. Fox. From Stat, As a Parkinson’s patient, I felt a little left behind by biology’s century — until now Interested in the science behind the triumph, I wrote about it here. 


“Thoreau condemns the physiologist “in too much haste to explain [plant] growth according to mechanical laws” and muses that “the mystery of the life of plants is kindred with that of our own lives.” He urges a kind of restraint toward the question of life itself, arguing that “we must not presume to probe with our fingers the sanctuary of any life, whether animal or vegetable; if we do we shall discover nothing but surface still, or all fruits will be apples of the Dead Sea, full of dust and ashes.”

Can it be that what we take as plant “behavior” is a form of thought? That would, of course, mean that, once again, humans are no longer the center of the universe. From Lapham’s Quarterly, A Wiser Sympathy

Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA

Director of Medicine

Dr. Charles Dinerstein, M.D., MBA, FACS is Director of Medicine at the American Council on Science and Health. He has over 25 years of experience as a vascular surgeon.

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