We have too many pumpkins!
I didn't even plant any, they just appeared.
I am still reading that book on the Etruscans. Written in the 70s, so I don't know if it's been completely superceded by now, but it's what I found on the shelf when I was hungry for the learning last time I was in the library.
Point being, the Etruscans had an amazing amount of knowledge and skill in agricultural technology: they transformed the landscape with irrigation and drainage, enabling intensive and varied food production and took that part of Italy out of the Bronze Age. Yet they also believed in fate and predestination to a degree that astounded even the other fairly fatalistic cultures around them. I suppose it's not that contradictory really. Predestined to advance and flourish and change and transform - or not. Ultimately other forces decide how far you can go with that.
And they read thunderstorms. And livers. Big on the livers. I wonder why people don't read livers now? After all these were wise people - scientists, even. And afterwards you could have a nice lunch.
I did my customary glance over the internet for ME/CFS research the other day - I do it every so often in the vague hope that someone has found a cure. I can't say I hold my breath when I do, but I'd feel like a right berk if everyone else had found and taken the Magic Pill and I was still slouching round at home when I could be out jogging and building rocket ships and all those other things that need doing, so I do the right thing and have a bit of a look before going back to watching the paint peel and wondering about livers. Needless to say, no one's come up with anything yet although some of the anti-viral research looks promising and there's a new major split in the research community, including bonus arguments over a new latest definition of CFS, shoot me now.
Rather than detail this, I'll just refer anyone curious to Phoenix Rising
, Cort Johnson's excellent newsletter, scroll down for the article.
The other thing I found was Etiology of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Testing Popular Hypotheses
Using a National Birth Cohort Study.
Journal: Psychosom Med. 2008 Mar 31 [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: Harvey SB, Wadsworth M, Wessely S, Hotopf M.
Affiliations: Institute of Psychiatry (S.B.H., S.W., M.H.), King's
College London, London, UK; Medical Research Council's National
Survey of Health and Development (M.W.), Department of Epidemiology
and Public Health, Royal Free and UCL Medical School, London, UK.
PMID: 18378866Objective: To review the etiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
and test hypotheses relating to immune system dysfunction, physical
deconditioning, exercise avoidance, and childhood illness
experiences, using a large prospective birth cohort.
( Methods, results: )
Conclusions: Individuals who exercise frequently are more likely to
report a diagnosis of CFS in later life. This may be due to the
direct effects of this behavior or associated personality factors.
Continuing to be active despite increasing fatigue may be a crucial
step in the development of CFS.
Given the authorship of this article, maybe a few diehards are finally coming to their senses. They will cling on to the importance of pysch and personality issues, of course - that's their baby, that's what they've devoted their lives to. And I guess they might be right, up to a point - I don't think we know enough to know yet. But the 'evidence based' overturning of the excercise phobia myth is a good start.