missed pass

Just found out today that the AFL Grand Final is tomorrow. I can’t believe that I’ve been so out of touch with sport news and whatever that I didn’t even realise. It didn’t even occur to me that tomorrow is the last Saturday of September.

Well, to be fair, I haven’t really watched many games this season. Haven’t really even checked up on game results and stuff like that. Did not even know that Fremantle finished in the top eight.

I’m not even going to be able to watch it tomorrow, though, since I have work all day. The more I think about it, the more I’d like nothing more than to be able to stay at home tomorrow and watch the grand final.

I still remember watching that West Coast vs Sydney grand final a few years back. Can’t remember exactly what year it was (and too lazy to look it up now) but it was the one the year after Sydney won the premiership. The Eagles won by a narrow margin, and it is possibly one of the best AFL matches that I’ve ever seen. In fact, I do believe that I even blogged about it. (Should use that search thing in the side menu to find it if you’re interested.)

Aww… Now I just realised that the NRL Grand Final is on October 6, and I’m pretty sure I have a farewell party to go to that night. Maybe this is a kind of payback for not really following either seasons…

Better luck next year, perhaps?

limitless

Being a pharmacist, movies that explore drug- or health-related themes are of particular interest to me. This is what I told people when I watched “Side Effects” whenever it was released earlier this year, and same with “Silver Linings Playbook”. And then people would ask me if I’d seen “Limitless”, which I was surprised I hadn’t heard about (or don’t remember ever hearing about) since it was only released a couple of years ago.

Well, it took a while, but I finally got around to watching it last night. And, yes, I did enjoy it and think it’s a good movie, but there are a few details that I would question. These details don’t really matter and probably no one cares, but it’s just a small matter of plausibility and scientific accuracy and stuff like that. But, you know, there are also some details that the movie covered quite well.

Just a warning: if you haven’t already seen “Limitless”, some of the things I’m about to discuss may spoil the story for you. Also a caveat that my pharmacology, etc knowledge may be a bit rusty, so some of the details might not be 100% but you’ll get the general idea. Oh, and another warning that, unless you also have an interest in pharmaceuticals, the rest of this entry might be kind of boring to you.

The first issue in “Limitless” is that a tablet of NZT supposedly only takes 30 seconds to have an effect. Most tablets, capsules, etc that are taken orally (swallowed whole) will take 15-30 minutes for an effect. This is because it has to disintegrate and dissolve and then get absorbed and then distributed to the site of action. It also takes about a minute for blood to be pumped around the entire body, so NZT would basically need to be absorbed instantaneously so that it has a chance of being pumped to the brain within half a minute (assuming, logically, that the brain is the site of action).

It might have been more believeable if they did it as a sublingual tablet or something. The guy who injected it kind of had the right idea, though. And I suppose we can assume it lasts longer that way (as he said), considering that it would bypass first-pass metabolism (assuming it is subject to some metabolism by the liver).

The next issue is when Eddie drinks that guy’s blood to get a fix (sorry, I really can’t remember that other guy’s name or if he actually had a name). If NZT distributes to the site of action so quickly, how could there have been enough drug left in the blood that Eddie lapped up? However, although that scene was totally gross, I do appreciate the twist and the cleverness of it.

Some of the things that the movie covererd well include addiction, withdrawals and medication side effects. That Eddie managed to gradually wean off NZT in the end was good. I liked the ending. I like the movie overall – it was quite interesting.

Not sure if a drug like that would ever get developed, though. Maybe something similar could have some use in, like, helping people with learning disorders and stuff.

this is not a game

It’s been a bit of a weird week for me… Lots of random stuff happening… Leaving work late on most nights because random stuff gets more random at the end of the day (??)

Whatever…

I’ve got a 7am start on Monday morning, so you can bet I’m going to make the most of my week-end sleep-ins.

Don’t think I’ve mentioned that I’ve started reading ‘The Angel’s Game’ (Carlos Ruiz Zafon). It’s alright so far. Some part of my mind finds it weird to be reading a book that’s been translated into English from another language (Spanish, in this case) and keeps reminding me of that fact so that I’m finding it hard to enjoy the novel completely. It’s as if that part of my mind is constantly worrying that some part of the meaning or beauty of the story has been lost in translation.

Well, I’m not that far in to the book at the moment (still concurrently reading ‘The Life of Pi’) but I suppose that the translation must be ok (not that I can really judge it without reading the original Spanish version – after first learning Spanish, of course).

I’m reading the one translated by Lucia Graves, by the way, for those of you playing along at home. Not sure how many other translations by how many other people there are, but you know for sure which translation I’m reading now.

I think I had a bad experience once with a translated text (I think it was ‘The Odyssey’…?) because it just seemed rather boring, so I naturally just blamed it on the poor translation (but, again, I can’t really judge that without having read the original).

Yeah… I’m just going to go to bed before I start rambling.

halfway there

On one of my random Youtube trails the other night, I came across the song “Love somebody” by Maroon 5, which I could easily listen to on repeat endlessly (ok, probably not endlessly, but you get the idea). I have been meaning to blog about it for a while now (because I like to share and promote the songs, books, shows, etc that I like) but it’s always either slipped my mind or I keep putting it off in favour of something else.

So tonight, since I managed to leave work more or less on time and it’s been a good Tuesday (as far as Tuesdays go) and I just feel like writing stuff – tonight I’m finally going to publish a post for this song.

I’ve been trying to avoid writing about the same sort of stuff too much (which is why I added that “search” thing in the side menu – I wouldn’t think that normal people would try to search my blog for specific topics) so before writing this, I did a search of my blog for previous mentions of Maroon 5 (because they’re actually one of my most favourite bands). I was quite surprised to find that I’d only mentioned them (ever so briefly) in one post in my 300+ posts.

Well, ok, considering that I’d only recently wrote about my most-favourite-song-ever, this probably shouldn’t be that surprising for me…

I should say, also, that although they’re one of my most favourite bands, I don’t really know much about them apart from their music. I tend to judge each song (of any artist) on its own merits and if a song has a big enough impact, or if I like enough songs by the same artist, I then decide I have a liking toward the artist.

Anyway… I’ve yet to come across a Maroon 5 song that I dislike. There have been one or two that were sort of “meh…” but nothing worse than that.

I also really want to mention the song “Next to me” by Emeli Sandé. Some sound or phrase or something reminded me of this song the other day, and I remembered how I had wanted to post about it, too, but never got around to it – until now! If you haven’t already, you should go and search for either or both of these songs!

Friday home day & The Wise Man’s Fear

Had the day off work today (Friday) because I’m working tomorrow instead. Since it’s a week-day, I sort of felt like I should go and do stuff that I wouldn’t usually be able to do since I’m usually working Monday to Friday. But, as it turns out, I didn’t have any errands to run that couldn’t be put off or done on a week-end anyway. So I thought about it and decided I’d rather take it easy and stay at home.

That’s not to say that today hasn’t been productive, though. I did some cleaning, re-arranged stuff to create more space (and chucked out some stuff), did some CPD quizzes, almost finished my tax return, and finished reading ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’ (Patrick Rothfuss).

It feels a bit weird to have finally finished reading that 994-page book. Feels like I’ve been reading it for so long…

The story’s not finished, though. However, it didn’t really leave off at a massive cliffhanger or something. Still, I’ll probably read the next installment when it’s out (I’m assuming it’s not out yet – haven’t heard of it). It’s been a while since I read the first book of the ‘Kingkiller Chronicles’, so there were a few references to previous events that I had to think hard on, but other than that, it stands on its own quite well.

One of the excerpts from a review on the back cover of the book mentions that the story is “completely believable”, and I would quite agree with this. It is a fantasy novel set in a fictional world and time, but everything is constructed and played out so well that it could just as well be a true history of an alternate universe, rather than just a dream of an imaginary world.

Over the last however many weeks of my reading ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’, people have asked me what it’s about, and I’ve found that I’ve had a hard time describing it in such a way that it sounds as good as it actually is, so I don’t think I’m going to attempt to try again here. Suffice to say that if you liked ‘The Name of the Wind’, you should definitely read ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’.

Although, to be completely honest, even though the story does progress, it doesn’t go as far as one might expect it to in 152 chapters. I also found a few random errors throughout the book that must have been missed in the editing/publishing process (but only small things like a word repeating unnecessarily, or an apostrophe in the wrong place).

Well, at least now I can get back to reading just one book (going to put ‘Great Expectations’ on hold until I finish ‘Life of Pi’). It is weird reading a number of books concurrently and then finishing one of them (the largest of the three as well). I almost feel compulsed to start reading another book to keep my reading at maximum capacity (if that makes sense…) but I’ll resist the temptation – try to, at least.

boom

As most Brisbanites would now, yesterday was the annual ‘Bridge to Brisbane’ fun run. This was my first year participating. I finished 10km in just under 68 minutes, which is better than what I expected to manage. Prior to B2B I did a few 9km runs, and they took a bit over an hour (it was an approximate 9km based on Google Maps; plus I also walked a fair bit).

Despite the early start (got up at 4:30am, race started at 6am), which I’ve always considered to be the main “con” against taking part in B2B, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and can’t wait until next year. Going to aim to get closer to the one hour mark.

I was kind of surprised at how fast I was running at some parts of the course, dodging past people and over-taking the slower joggers. It’s an incredible feeling, though. Totally worth the soreness and stiffness (yeah, I probably didn’t stretch as much as I should have pre- or post-run).

The home stretch was definitely the best. Even though my feet were burning (in hindsight I’m surprised my legs hadn’t cramped up at all during the run (totally did not even think about it during the run) and I never even got a stitch), and even though it felt like my lungs were going to implode, I fully ran the last 200m or so. I don’t personally know what it’s like to have an asthma attack but, based on knowledge from others, I imagine it would be similar to how I felt running that last 200m.

Before I wrap up this post, just want to give props to all the volunteers and water people at B2B. Truly appreciate it. I reckon if, for some reason, I cannot take part in B2B, I’d definitely like to volunteer.

One of the promotional concept things they used for B2B this year was encouraging people to share their “reason for running” – whether it be as simple as burning extra calories or more deep and personal. I reckon I run for a number of reasons: for the health/fitness benefits, because I can be quite competitive, and for that incredible feeling of awesomeness that comes with intense physical activity.