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In When Breath Becomes Air, neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi tells the story of a patient who insisted on having a brain tumor removed against the advice of his surgeons.

The tumor was situated in a critical speech center in the brain. Excising it was likely to render the patient speechless for life.

Kalanithi was about to ask the attending physician why the surgery was proceeding when he received his answer. He met the patient.

The man dished out a “litany of profanity and exhortation” demanding that the doctors get “this thing out of my [expletive deleted] brain” (111).

At the operation’s conclusion, Kalanithi had a new question:”How was he still talking?”

He surmised that profanity “supposedly ran on a slightly different circuit from the rest of language. Perhaps the tumor had caused his brain to rewire somehow” (112). Continue Reading…

Here are some updates on recent blog topics.

CBN.com “Sale of Baby Body Parts Hearing–Our Humanity Should Be Repulsed.”

A House committee is investigating whether abortion clinics are illegally selling body parts of unborn children for profit.

“For crying out loud, this is the Amazon.com of baby body parts,” Rep. Joe Pitts, R-PA, commented.┬áRep. Jackie Speier, D-CA, charged that the hearings were designed to “restrict women’s healthcare.”

Killing babies isn’t healthcare. Making this allegation is a red herring–designed to get us to look away from the topic at hand–the babies. Continue Reading…

Sometimes, life crushes those wings. Crushed spirits can only watch others fly.

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Last week, I invited my high school English students to select the technology they thought was most important. If they could choose only one, would they choose the printing press, the automobile, or electricity?

I was a bit surprised that, among a group of new drivers or soon to be new drivers, no one selected the car. And to my disappointment, not many of them selected the printing press either. Even so, some of their arguments for choosing electricity were sound: medical advances, food preservation and storage, ease of access to useful information.

Continue Reading…