“Move lips, move minds and make new meanings flare”
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
July 18th 1918 – December 5th 2013
On courage, from his autobiography:
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear myself more times than I can remember, but I hid it behind a mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
On facing the death penalty, Nelson Mandela spoke from the dock at the culmination of the Rivonia Trial in April 1964:
“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realised. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
On his trademark African shirts, August 1995:
“Archbishop Tutu and I discussed this matter. He said to me: ‘Mr President, I think you are going well in everything except the way you dress.’ ‘Well,’ I said to the Archbishop, whom I respect very much, I said, ‘Well, let’s not enter a discussion where there can be no solution’.”
Following the man’s passing last night it seems the right time to mention this lovely book.
It it gives far greater insights into the man that was Nelson Mandela than “Long Walk to Freedom”. I have read it a couple of times but got more from it as an audio book where the lessons seem to resonate more – at times when I am seeking inspiration and resolve the audio goes onto “hard rotation”.
I can add nothing more to the praise for the greatness of the man, I shall leave that to others but if you want to truly learn from his life read / listen to Richard Stengel’s work.
May he rest in peace and his work and influence inspire many generations to come.
Available from Amazon here.
or try the audio book at Audible.co.uk
Today, Friday December 6th, sees the Practice Christmas parties start to peak. I have been wary of these events since the first one I attended as a callow associate where someone caused a significant amount of damage to themselves and other more inanimate equipment whilst attempting the, err, creative use of a photocopier. At another practice one of the associates decided to try a cocktail of Rioja and RA; presumably it made some sort of sense because the first and last letters of the words were the same.
One year was memorable because nobody missed the 16 year old trainee nurse after she glugged her way through more glasses of punch than she ought. Her plight didn’t become apparent until she woke up behind a sofa in the waiting room at 2am and triggered the motion detectors of the burglar alarms. The principal’s wife, a stern churchgoer & teetotaller was less than amused to have to leave her snoring, sozzled, spouse sleeping to make the 20 mile round trip to respond to the police call out and then deliver the, now green round the gills, trainee to her parents.
So here are Rees’s top 10 for a happy party.
- Lay down the rules well in advance. Remind everyone that wherever they are is an extension of the practice premises so the business rules with regard to discrimination, harassment and discipline still apply. The last thing you want in the new year is a tribunal or a disciplinary hearing.
- Don’t have the party on the practice premises. No matter how careful everyone is and how good your cleaners are you will be faced with that “after-party” aroma on the next working day.
- Have the bash on a Friday or Saturday – no one wants to work the next day. More to the point no one wants the embarrassment of having to pull a sickie.
- Don’t let the alcohol flow too fast or too early. A few glasses of fizz on an empty stomach can be the start of a very trying and “tiring” evening.
- Make sure that there is no way anyone can be tempted to drink and drive. If that means hiring a minibus or booking taxis do it.
- Have a definite end point. Spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents can be told that they can collect at X o’clock. If people choose to go on to a club whatever that’s their choice.
- It’s an evening when inhibitions can slip and secret admirers reveal their feelings – beware. This is particularly relevant for, but not unique to, young, single, male associates. Ban the mistletoe.
- Bosses give yourself an “out”, if things are getting wilder than you like or if one of the fuelled team members decides to share their business management philosophy which is at some variance with yours. Discretion is the better part of valour.
- Don’t make promises which in the cold light of Monday you can’t keep.
- Enjoy yourself – make it memorable for all the right reasons.
BONUS Tip – Keep all your receipts £150 per head is allowable for tax deduction
PS. It was at the end of an in house practice Christmas party (the one where the dentist tried the RA & Rioja) that my wife and I first realised that there was a mutual attraction – but that’s another story.
For the history of this “TGBSL” series read here
New candy eats ‘bad’ bacteria in the mouth, benefiting teeth.
From Medical News Today
Our mouths are a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria. When we clean our teeth, the aim is to knock out cavity-causing bacteria, while allowing beneficial oral bacteria to thrive. Now, researchers have developed a sugar-free candy, which contains dead bacteria that bind to bad bacteria, potentially reducing cavities.
The importance of good oral health has been emphasized by doctors for years. Poor oral health has been linked to many conditions, from Alzheimer’s disease to pancreatic cancer, not to mention cardiovascular disease.
To promote better oral health, a team from the Berlin-based firm Organobalance GmbH, Germany, created a new candy, which they claim reduced levels of ‘bad’ bacteria in study subjects’ mouths.
Their research was published in Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins.
They note that after we eat, bacteria on the surface of the teeth release acid, which can dissolve the tooth enamel, leading to cavities.
The most common strain of this “bad” bacteria is called Mutans streptococci. However, the researchers say that in previous studies with rats, another bacteria called Lactobacillus paracasei has been shown to reduce levels of the cavity-causing bacteria, decreasing the number of cavities in the rodents.
The team, led by Christine Lang, believe that by binding with M. streptococci, the L. paracasei bacteria prevent this bad bacteria from reattaching to the teeth, causing it to get washed away by saliva.
Candy ‘significantly lowered’ bad oral bacteria levelsA pile of candy
Dentists normally suggest staying away from sweets, but a newly created sugar-free bacteria-containing candy reduced levels of bad oral bacteria.
In a pilot trial involving 60 subjects, Lang and her team tested whether their sugar-free candy, which contained heat-killed samples of L. paracasei DSMZ16671, reduced levels of bad oral bacteria.
One-third of the subjects ate candies with 1 mg of L. paracasei, while another third ate candies with twice this amount (2 mg). The final third served as a control group and ate candies that were similar in taste but that contained no bacteria.
In total, all subjects ate five candies during the 1.5-day study. They were not allowed to perform any oral hygiene activities during this time, and they were also not allowed to consume coffee, tea, wine or probiotic foods.
Results showed that nearly 75% of the participants who ate candies with the good bacteria had “significantly lower” levels of Mutans streptococci in their saliva than before, compared with the control group.
Additionally, the subjects who ate candy with 2 mg of L. paracasei had a reduction in bad bacteria levels after eating only one piece of candy.
The researchers write:
“We think it remarkable that this effect was observed after exposure to only five pieces of candy containing 1 or 2 mg of dead L. paracasei DSMZ16671 consumed in 1.5 days.”
They say that by using dead bacteria, they avoided problems that live bacteria might have caused. They also note that the L. paracasei does not bind with beneficial oral bacteria, which is why this is a better cavity prevention method than other probiotics.
“Additionally,” they add, “sugar-free candies stimulate saliva flow, a benefit to oral health.”
In other oral health news, Medical News Today recently reported on the development of a tooth sensor that accurately detects oral activity.
Written by Marie Ellis
From Health Investor
Two dental firms up for sale
Two dental businesses, Southern Dental and Apex, have been put up for sale, according to Financial News.
Rothschild has been mandated to run the sale process for Southern Dental, a chain of practices based in the south of England. It has been reported this business could be sold for as much as £50 million.
KPMG has been appointed as sale advisors for Apex, a smaller firm than Southern Dental, with ebitda reported to be in the region of £2 million to £3 million.
Those familiar with the situation believe the businesses are likely to attract interest from mid-market private equity firms.
Earlier this year Bridgepoint acquired Oasis Healthcare from Duke Street for £185 million. Duke Street paid £77 million to delist the business from the London Stock Exchange in 2007.