All posts by Stuart Farrimond

Doctor Stu is editor of Guru Magazine. He originally trained as a medical doctor before deciding to branch out into lecturing, writing, editing and science communication. He drinks far too much coffee, eats lots of ice cream and has a bizarre love of keeping fit.
You can check out Doctor Stu’s blog at realdoctorstu.com or his poncy personal website stuartfarrimond.com. Here's his .

There’s a Storm Coming, I Feel it in My Bones – or do you?

Thank goodness the nights are finally getting shorter (for those of us in the Northern hemisphere). Unless you’re a duck, the wet and gloomy weather is pretty miserable. The imminent spring sunshine is especially good news for those of us who suffer with aching joints. Speak to anyone who has arthritis and there’s a good chance they will say their joints ache more when a storm is looming. Many experts think that changes in air pressure affect the way we feel pain; yet despite this being a widely held belief, there’s no real proof that it’s actually real. One researcher, however, is using smartphone technology to discover whether your aunt really is right when she says, “There’s a storm coming – I feel it in my bones”.  And what’s more, if you own a mobile phone and experience long-standing pain then you too can be a medical science detective.

PainDr Will Dixon, a UK professor who specialises in medical statistics, recently launched a smartphone app called ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Pain’. It is available free of charge to anyone aged over 17 in the UK who has suffered with pain for at least three months. Every day for six months you are tasked with inputting your symptoms – including pain, fatigue and general wellbeing – on a five-point scale. Your location and the local weather conditions are automatically recorded, and you can even submit your own ideas about what might be triggering a flare in pain. Each user is also sent a personalised report to help them learn more about their symptoms and health.

The project has been running for a few weeks and the anonymised data is being crunched right now. By analysing the results from thousands of people’s suffering, Dr Dixon hopes to find the truth behind a belief that has existed for at least 2,500 years. He follows in the footsteps of other scientists who have explored similar ancient beliefs, such as that of ‘lunacy’: surveys have shown that about half of us believe crime and mental illness peak during a full moon – and Accident and Emergency staff are particularly likely to say their work gets busier on werewolf nights. But the actual science shows that it isn’t real: workers merely forget all the full moon evenings when not much happens.

So given that two thirds of arthritis sufferers believe weather affects their symptoms (and even the Arthritis Foundation have an online ‘joint pain weather forecast’), it seems likely that many people will stick to their convictions regardless of what Dr Dixon discovers. That said, it’s going to take some time before he gets his final conclusions – and seeing how unreliable some weather Office forecasts have been of late, I’d be inclined to take a chance and ask my aunt when the next storm is on the way…

Photo credit: Steven Depolo and azarius via Flickr Creative Commons

Article by Stuart Farrimond

February 8, 2016

Doctor Stu is editor of Guru Magazine. He originally trained as a medical doctor before deciding to branch out into lecturing, writing, editing and science communication. He drinks far too much coffee, eats lots of ice cream and has a bizarre love of keeping fit.
You can check out Doctor Stu’s blog at realdoctorstu.com or his poncy personal website stuartfarrimond.com. Here's his .


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Departures Lounge: all good things…

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All good things must come to an end and, alas, our time together is almost over. As you collect your suitcases from the baggage reclaim belt, you’re hopefully taking plenty of good memories with you: in this issue, you travelled in the Everglades, journeyed under the floorboards, met Old MacDonald fifty years from now, and explored the deepest recesses of the brain. But wipe that tear from your eye for this is not ‘goodbye’ but ‘au revoir’. We are already working on the next instalment of your Guru Magazine and so we should be back before you’ve even had time to unpack.

Of course, Guru is not just about the mag and we are continually adding fresh content to the website and answering all your ‘Ask a Guru’ questions (which you can send us whenever you get one of those ‘I always wondered why…’ moments). For example, did you know that the hoverboards seen in the Back to the Future movies now actually exist? No? Well click here to watch them in action in our special Back to the Future Day feature.

We’re truly proud to bring you the world’s first and only science-lifestyle periodical, dedicated to publishing thought-provoking and life-relevant content. Guru is a crowd-sourced enterprise that is shaped by its readers and writers – so we need your feedback and suggestionsyour feedback and suggestions to help Guru Magazine to continue to evolve and improve. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest Guru goings-on, subscribe via email to be the first to know when the next full issue comes online, and if you’re a writer, artist, designer (or would just like to get involved!) then don’t hesitate to drop us an email.

We’re truly proud to bring you the world’s first and only science-lifestyle periodical, dedicated to publishing thought-provoking and life-relevant content. Guru is a crowd-sourced enterprise that is shaped by its readers and writers – so we need your feedback and suggestionsyour feedback and suggestions to help Guru Magazine to continue to evolve and improve. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest Guru goings-on, subscribe via email to be the first to know when the next full issue comes online, and if you’re a writer, artist, designer (or would just like to get involved!) then don’t hesitate to drop us an email.

Thanks again for checking in and have a safe onward journey…

Article by Stuart Farrimond

November 2, 2015

Doctor Stu is editor of Guru Magazine. He originally trained as a medical doctor before deciding to branch out into lecturing, writing, editing and science communication. He drinks far too much coffee, eats lots of ice cream and has a bizarre love of keeping fit.
You can check out Doctor Stu’s blog at realdoctorstu.com or his poncy personal website stuartfarrimond.com. Here's his .


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Out Now! Issue 18: Shaken or stirred?

Guru Magazine is back and this time we’re shaking things up.

The latest issue of Guru is unveiled today and it’s a thought-stirring, emotion-shaking treat. The eighteenth issue of Guru Magazine is once again jam-packed with articles covering technology, the environment, science, psychology, book reviews and, oh so much more!

Travel with us as we set off in search of endangered terrapins in the Everglades, walk alongside us in the German ‘zero-emission’ farm of the future, and then get your teeth stuck into some ‘healthy’ food, Paleo style. Book Guru Kim Lacey finds out whether eBooks really are killing off the hardback, while author Julian Cribb chats with us about his latest book Poisoned Planet, in which he warns of the toxic chemicals that surround us every day (not available in hardback, sadly). Guest writer Audrey Wright then steps in to showcase some fun mini-videos and teaches us tricks to impress dinner party guests with. Plus she explains the best way to jump off a moving train, James Bond-style, thus proving you too can be a font of useless information.

The first article of issue 18 is available today (Ebooks vs paper – which is better?) and articles will be released on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the rest of October. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to be the first to know when the next article is released.

Subscribe here to get email notifications and bookmark this contents page to get the most up to date listing of available articles.

So head on over to the Arrivals Lounge to start your issue 18 Guru journey. It’s guaranteed to shake and stir the parts that other magazines fail to reach.

 

Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar via Compfight cc

Article by Stuart Farrimond

October 12, 2015

Doctor Stu is editor of Guru Magazine. He originally trained as a medical doctor before deciding to branch out into lecturing, writing, editing and science communication. He drinks far too much coffee, eats lots of ice cream and has a bizarre love of keeping fit.
You can check out Doctor Stu’s blog at realdoctorstu.com or his poncy personal website stuartfarrimond.com. Here's his .


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Arrivals Lounge: all aboard for issue 18!

It’s official: we’re getting bad at reading. Well, maybe not all of us, but evidence says that lots of us struggle to stick with a book for very long. E-readers, smart phones and computer monitors are turning us from ‘readers’ into ‘skimmers’ says Book Guru Dr Kim Lacey in this issue’s first article. Kim explores how tweets, email notifications and animated ads are rendering the digital generation incapable of absorbing more than 100 words in one go.

Read past her piece, however and you’ll discover lots more great content in issue 18. But given that 95 words are already spent writing this, we’ll make it snappy: In this issue, Nature Guru Autumn Sartain safely navigates past snapping crocs as she journeys up the Everglades in search of terrapins. She isn’t hunting for turtle soup, mind you, but hunting them to extract their blood (and poop) in an effort to preserve the unique species for future generations.

Meanwhile, jet-setter Nick Waszkowycz travels to Berlin, Germany, to visit to Old MacDonald’s farm of the future. Hidden away in a leafy suburb of the capital city, the world’s first ‘container farm’ claims to house all the secrets of 21st century sustainability – and there isn’t a cyborg scarecrow in sight. Unwilling to wait for the crops to grow, however, is Michael McKenna. He turns goes back to the Stone Age and tucks into a helping of the Paleo Diet in the hope that it might make him as buff as a caveman. And no, we didn’t let him use it as an excuse to drink lots of liquor ‘on the rocks’. This issue is chock-full of lots of videos, book reviews, and a few surprises, including an exclusive interview with Julian Cribb, author of the controversial book Poisoned Planet.

Rounding the show off, Prof. David Smith and colleague Dennis He don their Hannibal Lecter masks as they prize the skullcap off the ‘Human Brain Project’. Peering inside, they wonder whether an artificial brain can help mankind unpick a host of grisly neurological diseases. Dig in and be inspired. Navigate via the ‘next’ and ‘previous’ buttons at the bottom of each page. Articles will be released regularly over the coming days so if you can’t find them all, just subscribe via via email, or follow us via Twitter or Facebook to be notified when the next article comes out. Don’t forget to email us with your thoughts and suggestions – Guru Magazine is an enterprise shaped by its readers.

Dr Stu

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Article by Stuart Farrimond

Doctor Stu is editor of Guru Magazine. He originally trained as a medical doctor before deciding to branch out into lecturing, writing, editing and science communication. He drinks far too much coffee, eats lots of ice cream and has a bizarre love of keeping fit.
You can check out Doctor Stu’s blog at realdoctorstu.com or his poncy personal website stuartfarrimond.com. Here's his .


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