Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm too busy being civilized...

"To be thoroughly lazy is a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Industrious people build industry. Lazy people build civilization."
--Kazuaki Tanahashi, Brush Mind, Parallax Press, 1990

"Just This" (right), Zen calligraphy painting by Alok Hsu Kwang-han

Actually, I'm too busy helping edit a book about malaria to blog or work on film today. I learned a lot about malaria when I was writing my kids' book on Mali. In fact, my editor said I harped on about it too much in that book.
Hmmph. Hardly possible.

Here's what I cobbled together from a bunch of sources *:

There are four types of malaria. Only one causes death if untreated. The other three retreat, even if untreated, but may recur periodically for a person’s lifetime.

Protozoans (one-celled animals) called Plasmodia cause malaria, spread by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito. Plasmodia from the mosquito’s saliva enter a person’s blood. They travel to the liver, where they multiply and form clumps of parasites. After several days, these clumps burst and release new Plasmodia, which invade red blood cells. The infected blood cells eventually break open and release large numbers of Plasmodia.
This invasion continues, causing periodic attacks of fevers of 106°F (41°C). Attacks lasts about two hours and recur every two or three days. Headache, muscle pain, and nausea accompany the temperature swings.

* The Center for Disease Control has a good overview of malaria.


deanna said...

Now, see? Your quote makes so much sense. I just learned more about malaria from this post than I ever knew, though I've read its reference plenty. Onward, civilized learners...(so, we won't be driving BMWs anytime soon...) :o)

Fresca said...

I hadn't made the connection, but actually I did "waste" a lot of time reading more about malaria than I needed to for the Mali book---simply because it interested me.
And now, several years later, it serves me in good stead.

Can't read or write and drive a BMW at the same time anyway!.

Nancy said...

I second Deanna's comment. Now I know something of what a friend went through who had malaria, and understand references to it in those Masterpiece theater bits about the British in India. Gracias, Francesca!

Fresca said...

You're welcome!