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Posts tagged ‘Medium’

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Unit 44 – A Short Poem About Leaving

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 1 minute 30 seconds

Below is a short poem by Irish poet, John Montague

 

No Music

I’ll tell you a sore truth, little understood
It’s harder to leave, than to be left:
To stay, to leave, both sting wrong.

You will always have me to blame,
Can dream we might have sailed on;
From absence’s rib, a warm fiction.

To tear up old love by the roots,
To trample on past affections:
There is no music for so harsh a song.
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Unit 43 – The Doctor’s Wife Extract

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 4 minutes 30 seconds

 

The passage below is an extract from The Doctor’s Wife by Brian Moore.

Her flight had been called twice now and it was definitely the last call. There as no delaying it any longer, there was nothing to do but say goodbye, turn her back on him, and walk through the security check and onto the aircraft. An anxiety, the unreasoning anxiety of departure, came into her voice as she said, ‘Well, I must go this time.’
He stared, his dark eyes all question, as though he waited for her to give him some sign.
‘Goodbye, then,’ she said.
He did not speak.
‘If you ever come back to Ireland you must look us up.’
He moved toward her. She was sure he was going to kiss her, but, instead, he stopped and awkwardly held out his hand. For a moment she thought of kissing him on both cheeks in the French manner and making a joke of it, but her courage left her, and instead she shook his hand, then went up to the security people. A man and his wife were ahead of her in the check line, loaded down with cartons of gifts. She turned to look back. He was still standing there. She waved, he smiled and waved back. And then she entered the security checkpoint and, once through it, could no longer see the departure lounge. When she entered the aircraft, the seat-belt sign was already on, and as she sat down in her allotted seat, a stewardess offered her a choice of magazines. She took the first magazine off the pile, hurriedly, because she wanted the stewardess to move so that she could look across the aisle at the window facing the terminal. But saw only the terminal wall. No sign of him. The aircraft door shut and the plane taxied out for takeoff. She sat, staring numbly at the magazine cover.
As the plane moved forward in the takeoff queue, the quotation from the front of the magazine repeated itself in her head: L’avenir n’est interdit a personne – the future is forbidden to no one. The engines increased their thrust, the plane rushed down the runway and lifted into the air. Outside the window, great canyons of cloud opened and closed like the corridors of heaven as the plane climbed up into a bright-blue void. The seat-belt sign went off. On the intercom, a female voice announced that drinks would be offered and that luncheon would be served. She remembered the fuss she had made in the British Airways office in Belfast, two months ago, when the clerk told her this luncheon flight was fully booked, but that there was space on the later flight at three o’clock. She had wait-listed herself on this flight because she didn’t want to miss lunch. And if I hadn’t done that, at this moment I would be having lunch with Tom Lowry in Paris. Why didn’t I change my reservations this morning, why did I worry about the stupid old hotel? How did I get so bogged down in ordinariness that even this once I couldn’t do the spontaneous thing, the thing I really wanted to do.
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Unit 42 – Researching Treatments for Bone Marrow Oedema

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 4 minutes 30 seconds

The passage below is an extract from ‘Short-term outcome of painful bone marrow oedema of the knee following oral treatment with iloprost or tramadol: results of an exploratory phase II study of 41 patients’, by M.E. Mayerhoefer et al. originally published in Rheumatology (2007) 46 (9).

It was the goal of this study to compare the effect of oral treatment with the vasoactive iloprost to the effect of symptomatic treatment with tramadol, with regard to the outcome of painful isolated BME of the knee. While we were able to exclude all causes for reactive BME, and also a history of trauma suggesting mechanical BME, we were not able to reliably exclude minor to moderate axis deviations compatible with mechanical BME, because only standard antero-posterior and lateral radiographs of the knee joint, but no long radiographs of the entire lower limb, were available. Therefore, the BME observed in our patient population was regarded as either ischaemic or mechanical.
In recent studies, iloprost, which is currently registered for the intravenous therapy of peripheral arterial occlusive disease, thrombangiitis obliterans and Raynaud’s phenomenon, has been presented as an effective novel approach for the management of BME. Iloprost inhibits platelet and leucocyte activation, induces vasodilatation, counteracts vasospasm, protects the endothelium and reduces vessel wall permeability. Because it is believed that the main factors responsible for the development of BME are thrombo-, fat- and air-embolization, obstruction of venous and pre-capillary drainage or elevated venous pressure and decreased arterial perfusion, vessel wall injuries and decreased fibrinolysis, iloprost may represent a truly causative treatment option.
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Unit 40 – The Zombie Lifestyle

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 4 minutes 30 seconds

The passage below has been adapted from The Zen of Zombie, by Scott Kenemore.

Acceptance and acculturation into society involves the relinquishing of certain freedoms. Nothing new here, right? I benefit from my citizenship, but the laws that protect me also restrain me. The police will prevent my enemies from murdering me, but they will also stop me if I want to murder my enemies. The government provides roads for me to drive on, but I have to pay taxes to build those roads. Many people are surprised to find that this acculturation has extended even into their own minds.
Some examples are obvious. As much as I might hate my enemy, I don’t actually contemplate killing him. I think to myself “killing him is not something I can do” because society has closed it off to me as an option. But in truth, I can by all means kill my enemy. Nothing physically prevents me from ringing his doorbell, and smacking him over the head with his heaviest lawn ornament as soon as he opens the door. Yet my acculturated brain tells me that this would result in my arrest, incarceration and possible execution. Because of it, my brain removes it as a “lived” possibility I can actually pursue. While physically I can pursue it, I have removed that button from the keyboard of my mind. Additionally, humans regularly go so far as to give objects power over them.
Traffic lights. Work superiors. Court-appointed substance-abuse counsellors.
All of these things get an automatic response from us because it saves time and because it’s easier than thinking it through. In some cases we dont even think it through the first time – we assume that if we took the time to reason it through that we’d elect to comply. Before long, we’re taking fifteen minutes out of our way instead of just cutting straight across a lawn because we automatically give a KEEP OFF THE GRASS sign power over us.
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Unit 39 – The Lady and The Priest

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 3 minutes

The cartoon below is licensed under the creative commons act and was first published on http://thepoliticalcarnival.net

 
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