Watch Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3. Can anybody hear me? from Lardmonster on

If you haven’t heard of Twitch, it’s a huge place where people play games and other people watch people play games. In fact, it has expanded far beyond that and you can watch people do all sorts of things. Maybe you want to learn how to cross stitch or about 3D printing?

Twitch (and other streaming platforms) are more than this. They are also places where people can connect, we can listen to regular voices in the background while we do things, and communities form. For some people, probably even more so in times like these, they’re a reliable form of social contact.

I thought I’d try to stream on Twitch a little regularly for some of these reasons. We can talk about stuff, or we can just play through some games. Whatevs.

This is me – Lardmonster on Twitch.

Coed Y Brenin

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I managed to sneak 2 days of leave from work last week during the kids’ half term to get away to Coed Y Brenin Forest Park in North Wales to do some mountain biking and trail running. It’s an excellent place to visit and I’ve been meaning to go for years, often driving past on the way to somewhere else. There are 8 mountain biking trails from green for the kids to longer black routes needing a bit of skill and fitness. The running routes are also great, and let me switch my brain off for a bit, following sign posts to get a tour around the forest on footpaths and logging roads.
It was a great few days away, and the kids got some mtb skills going on green and blue routes. The autumnal colours of the forest made all the riding and running even more beautiful, and we sneaked in some geocaching. I even got everyone out on a night hike for caches with the nights drawing in.
My main aim this year was to try to take all my leave this year and I’ve failed miserably. I’ve been working too much again, becoming more like the salmon, even though I’m not striving to get anywhere (I’d like to strive to get outdoors to play more). We’ve been asked to teach two new courses and have not yet had any new staff, so we’ve had to get the preparation work done ourselves to make sure it all runs smoothly. Damn my work ethic.
I didn’t record an anatomy video last week because I was away, but I have a couple of ideas for videos so I might do 2 this week. I’ll edit the Coed Y Brenin videos and get them up on the YouTubes too.

Daily Anatomy – iPhone app

Daily Anatomy Question iPhone app icon
The Daily Anatomy app went live on the Apple App Store in January, and the leaderboard is slowly filling up with students. I’ll be adding batches of questions regularly so the bank will keep getting bigger, and the daily question is chosen at random.
Hopefully people will find it fun, challenging and helpful!
I’ve started work on an Android version but as I’m creating these in my spare time (and how much spare time does an academic ever really have?) it will take a while to get an early version on the Google Play Store.
I have plans for updates to the Daily Anatomy app that I hope to release during the year, and have also begun developing ideas for another app, also for medical students but not anatomy related…
See the Daily Anatomy iPhone app on the Apple App Store here.

Android app: Skull Osteology

Skull Osteology Android app
I finally got round to converting the iOS Skull Osteology app (and web resource) into an Android app, test it, and get it up on the Google Play Store. It should work on Android phones but I haven’t tested it on tablets.
The aim of this app is to give students the key details of the anatomy of the skull, ideally while looking at a plastic model of a skull (or a real skull in the lab, if available). Working with physical items seems to be the best way to learn anatomy and remember that information, and virtual resources like this are intended to supplement the unlabelled models with helpful information.
Go to the Google Play Store to download it.

Continue reading “Android app: Skull Osteology”

Swansea Health Solutions

Swansea Health Solutions
I spend quite a bit of time in here. Gareth has been looking after me for a few years now, and with my broken collarbone I think he’s going to be seeing a lot of me over the next couple of months. The NHS nurses, health care assistants and surgeons have been great and I’ve been well looked after. The bone seems to be mending well (now 2 and a half weeks in to repair) and I’m back off to the fracture clinic this afternoon to get it checked over.
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The pain from the fracture is much less, and much less common now, and a lot of the discomfort is in the muscles of the shoulder which have been immobilised for a couple of weeks. My back is sore too, as I often drop my right side to support my elbow and take the weight off the shoulder, and I’m not using my right shoulder as I normally would. In the last couple of days I’ve been able to use my right arm again, and I’m using my right hand for typing and mousing. Leaning forward, tilting and twisting to accommodate my shoulder is making my back sore. Backs are Gareth’s bread and butter, so I’m hoping if the surgeons are happy with it that I’ll be able to get him to loosen all these muscles off a bit and advise me how to rehabilitate the shoulder.
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I’m not in any hurry to get back in the pool, but it would be nice to get back on the bike soon (my primary mode of transport) followed by a bit of jogging. The shoulder muscles are very weak right now, and movement is limited (a good thing for bone healing, but not for muscles).
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Swansea Health Solutions are sponsoring me for my 2012 triathlon related exploits, which is a big help. I wouldn’t say I’m injury prone but I haven’t completed a triathlon season yet (broken bone in my foot in 2010, achilles & flexor hallucis longus tendon tears in 2011, broken bone in my shoulder in 2012). Before that I was running a lot, so Gareth has been a big help! With the new Swansea Health Solutions practice the team has expanded and you can get directed to the person most able to help you with your pain or problem: physiotherapy, osteopathy, sports massage, soft tissue therapy, acupuncture, etc.
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You can see more on their website:

Tracking our Graduates’ Project

Grove Building, College of Medicine, Swansea University
The College of Medicine, Swansea University is interested in understanding what happens to our graduates when they leave their undergraduate medical training.
I’m not directly involved with this project, but I’m spreading the word.
If you’re in your final year of study, or if you started your studies in 2006 and you were a Graduate Entry Medicine student with us please take a look at the Facebook page and you could win a £150 Amazon voucher if you answer a quick survey.

Garmin Forerunner 610. It’s getting there.

Look at this thing. It’s almost the perfect triathlon watch. Slim(ish), GPS based speed and route logging stuff, heart rate monitoring, cadence & speed sensors for the bike, touch screen, stick all your intervals on it, a bit of navigation, and Ant+. It’s almost great for triathlon.
All Garmin need to do for me is:
– make it properly waterproof so I can swim with it
– while you’re at it license some tech so it’ll record my pace and stroke rate in the pool like the PoolMate gizmo
– make it pick up my power output from whichever Ant+ power meter I’ve got on my bike
– that thing that Polar used to do so you could mark a lap when you brought the watch to your chest was cool (great for marking transitions)
– keep the breadcrumb navigation thingy I have on my 305 (courses). It’s great for those long rides with lots of lanes.
– does it do the elevation graphs with the virtual partner so I can see when this monstrous hill is going to end?
Great, thanks!