This Week’s Top Picks – 1st November

This week my top picks include defecation, bullying, murder, and slashies. It’s real life, not Halloween, but there are some treats if you make it to the end.

Let’s Talk Toilets
As the children’s book says, everyone poops. But as the disease progresses, some people with dementia lose the capacity to get themselves to the bathroom and negotiate all the steps involved in, well, pooping. Many aged care facilities resort to adult diapers, but these still require significant ‘clean up’ and certainly aren’t a dignified solution for the people who have to wear them. The good people at Hammond Care have recently been trialling bidets and I think this just might be an elegant solution to a poopy problem.

I love the word slashie, a derogatory term applied to people who can’t pick a career or aren’t very good at either of their jobs. Think model/actress or artist/barista. But two new slashies emerged this week and they’re anything but derogatory: researcher/activist and writer/entrepreneur. I was delighted to see the Prime Minister’s Science Prize winners use their 15 minutes of fame to speak out about the Australian government’s appalling science policies and I was intrigued by Alexander Masters’ idea of allowing multi-millionaires to buy their way into clinical trails.

It’s Complicated
If my research on suicidal and homicidal thoughts in family carers shows anything, it’s that there is never a simple explanation and this feature article on the case of Kelli Stapleton confirms just how complicated homicide by carers can be. A trigger warning though, this article pulls no punches.

I Call BS
We’ve already talked about poop, so let’s talk bullshit. I was delighted this week to read two pieces telling it like it is. The amazing Kate Swaffer wrote an excellent post about big businesses hiding behind the mantra of person-centre care and a group of scientists penned an open letter highlighting the way brain training apps exploit fear for profit.

Who’d Want To Be An Academic?
Universities can be really wonderful places to work, but they’re not without problems, and a few pieces on the darker side of academic life caught my eye this week. Two articles in The Guardian – one on bullying in academia, the other on the fashion choices of female academics – made me reflect on my own experiences and I suspect they’ll resonate with a lot of people. I also found this piece on climate scientists & depression quite confronting.

Posner’s Reward
If you’ve managed to wade through the poop, the bullying, and the homicide, reward yourself with these: beautiful photos & interviews with people who are in their 80s & still at the top of their game, and a peek into the offices of fifty psychotherapists.

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