Nocturnal and Playing for Keeps launch this week!

I’m taking a brief break from boards-studying to pass on a couple of imperative announcements. Two excellent audio novels are set to launch this week via podcast – Scott Sigler‘s Noctural, and Mur Lafferty‘s Playing for Keeps.

Nocturnal, Scott Sigler’s latest brutal horror tale, debuts at midnight EST on Halloween. As taken from Scott’s website: “Something lives deep beneath the streets of San Francsico. Something that has been there for centuries, something that comes out at night … to feed on the dregs of society. A sub-culture, with its own myths, its own legends of leader named The King that will lead them out of bondage, and their own demon, a hunting shadow known only as Savior. But the legends of Savior’s brutality have faded, the fear passed into stories told to frighten the young ones. When The King finally appears, just as foretold, the Nocturnals know their time has time — the time to come out from under the streets and hunt humanity in the open.” Nocturnal will be freely distributed in audio form via podcast.

Following on the heels of that, and arguably saving the best for last, Mur Lafferty‘s brilliant superhero novel Playing for Keeps debuts on November 1. As taken from the official site, Playing for Keeps “tells the story of Keepsie Branson, a bar owner in the shining metropolis of Seventh City: birthplace of super powers. Keepsie and her friends live among egotistical heroes and manipulative villains, and manage to fall directly in the middle as people with powers, but who just aren’t strong enough to make a difference. Or that’s what they’ve been told. As the city begins to melt down, it’s hard to tell who are the good guys and who are the bad.” Playing for Keeps will be freely distributed in both audio and PDF form via podcast.

Interviewed on Fox 45 – Staph and Schools

On Tuesday, I was interviewed for the morning news on Fox 45 in Baltimore for a quick bit pertaining to the recent furor over MRSA infections in schools. This is the first such experience I’ve had in a televised news interview segment, and things went rather well, considering that I was on-call the previous night, and was working on more caffeine than rest. The brief segment was focused on the question of what specifically should parents be doing to screen for MRSA infections in their children, and prevent such infections from occurring. At least for the next few weeks, you can check out the video of the segment here.

Here’s the bottom line from my piece: the most important thing that anyone can do to prevent spread of MRSA, as with other infections, such as influenza, is wash your hands with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a good idea (MRSA is resistant to some antibiotics, but not to alcohol-based cleansers), especially as something portable to keep with you, for when hand-washing facilities are not readily available. The interviewer brought up some parental concerns about washing sheets daily, and looking their children over every evening for infected cuts or boils, which is clearly overkill for the general public. Again, common sense is important – in a sports or public exercise setting, towels should be used once and then laundered, and not shared. Injuries should be meticulously cared for, with bandages being changed regularly if soiled, and disposed of appropriately after use.

Obviously, I’m not expounding in any real detail on what MRSA is, and the current issues surrounding it – this is something I may do in the near future, depending on how things progress in the media. For now, I offer these excellent links:

Evening Rounds – Playing for Keeps, the podcast novel, drops November 1

My backlog of intended posts continue to grow… but such is the way of things. Various obligations, both professional and personal, have conspired to steal my time, and will continue to do so for at least the next couple of weeks. The Infectious Diseases board exam is on October 30, and so my preparation for that continues to intensify. As always, I hope to say more here shortly, but little may happen before then. For now, though, an important note:

Mur Lafferty‘s latest novel, Playing for Keeps, debuts as a free audio podcast on November 1. Think unlikely superheroes with unusual powers, with an excellent blend of drama and humor, and you’re on the right track. The website is currently a placeholder, but will be up and functional in a matter of days. Mur is an amazing author, as evidenced by her current podcast novel series Heaven, and Playing for Keeps has my highest recommendation. Be sure to check it out on November 1! More on this as the time grows closer…