Friday, January 27, 2017

Tinkers: Book Review

Published January 1, 2009
Paul Harding won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2010 for his novel Tinkers, a story about three generations of men from New England.

We meet George Crosby, a clock repair man.  From the start, the novel focuses on time, memory, and perspective.  George is suffering from delirium as a mature man in his last six weeks of life.  This leads to some shifting perceptions between past and present, reality and fantasy.

This is a book that I read slowly, wanting to live in the moments that he creates on the page.

Readers are next introduced to George's father, a salesman. Every fall and spring, Howard stocked up a wagon full of goods and traveled through back roads with his mule, selling to impoverished country people and making very little profit.

Howard is a poet at heart, but between the demands of providing for his family and the difficulty of dealing with his epilepsy, he lives a far less elegant life.

Friday, January 13, 2017

White Blood Cell Count: Biomarker of Health

Photo by keepingtime_ca.

Most people know that having a high white blood cell count is most likely a sign that the body is fighting an infection.

Also, having a low white blood cell count can be a sign of a problem.

White blood cells play a central role in the body's immune system. These cells constitute about 1% of human blood. They are small, but they are mighty.

Until doing research for this post, I had no idea what values constituted a healthy range for white blood cell count (WBC).

Depending on the source, healthy ranges for WBC are listed somewhere between 4,000 to 5,000 per microlitre on the low end or normal and between 10,000 and 11,000 per microlitre on the high end of normal. 

This post is part of a series on biomarkers of health and longevity.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy 5th Blogoversary to TGAM

Image by Nick Lee.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of this blog on aging.

Initially, this was a place for me to record my observations as a graduate student in a gerontology master's program.

Since then, I have taught gerontology classes at Wichita State University before moving to Indiana, where I currently teach part time for University of Southern Indiana (USI).

One of my primary identities is "Life-long Learner."  The blog gives me a place to share book reviews, research notes, and film critiques.

Here are the 20 posts that have accrued the most views over the last five years. 

In ascending order...

20. Quotes about Aging (April 25, 2016)
19. New Home for an Emptying Nester (March 14, 2016)
18. Midlife Ennui (March 7, 2016)
17. The Lie of One-and-Done Caregiving (January 21, 2016)
16. Books about Alzheimer's (June 5, 2014)