Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

Hiatus   Leave a comment

Fifteen years ago, I was in my second year of medical school at Duke, preparing for the adventure of a lifetime: doctoral research in machine learning and medical imaging at Oxford. I started this blog as a way to keep friends back home appraised of my exploits.

Over the next several years — as I bounced back and forth between Durham, North Carolina; Oxford, England; and Baltimore, Maryland — I posted tales of travel, flying, rowing, running, app programming, and the rare work update. In addition to sharing with friends, I hoped that students considering the NIH-OxCam doctoral program would land here and get a glimpse of what life in the program could look like. I also started to call this my “nostalgia blog,” as I realized that when I grew older and my memory faded, I would return to remember youthful friends and frolics.

After finishing my DPhil and MD, I was privileged to stay on at Duke for anesthesia residency and pediatric anesthesia fellowship. This site continued as a repository of pictures and short accounts of life outside the hospital, now a bit heavier on flying airplanes and occasional travel. While I still used it to share pictures with friends and family, and sought to show that anesthesia residents have a life beyond the operating room, the purpose of the blog tilted more and more in the “I want to remember this moment” direction.

Now, I’m entering a different phase of life. I am settled in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, establishing myself as a faculty anesthesiologist at Duke, and most importantly, Leah and I are starting a family. Our son was born in January, and while the adventures will surely continue over the next many years, they will for the most part be family affairs.

I firmly believe that children deserve privacy online, including and especially as regards their parents’ online footprints. For that reason, I expect that my posting here will decrease substantially. This site isn’t going anywhere — if for no other reason, it seems my thesis template has become the de facto standard for LaTeX theses at Oxford. And I won’t hesitate to write the occasional post about a particularly fun flight, or a random technical note, or a side project gone well. But in the unlikely event you follow this blog for semi-regular life updates, do please reach out separately. We would love to catch up.

αἰὼν παῖς ἐστι παίζων, πεσσεύων· παιδὸς ἡ βασιληίη. — Ἡράκλειτος

Posted 3 Jan 2023 by John McManigle in Notes

Wedding and Cape Cod Honeymoon   1 comment

While 2020 was a dark year for the world, with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging public life, it was also a bright one for my family. My sister forewent her planned Saturday wedding to be married with immediate family on the prior Tuesday, just before lock-downs took effect. My brother delayed his large celebration and was married in the shadow of the Duke Chapel over the summer. Leah and I, with a little more advance warning and already wanting a small outdoor ceremony, were married in August on the lawn at the Umstead hotel. It was a beautiful ceremony and celebratory evening, with our immediate families cheering us on.

For a subdued, socially distanced honeymoon, we flew up to Cape Cod (flying through New York City along the way) and stayed at a lovely house on the water. For a delightful week, we wandered the beaches (and saw some seals!), cycled the traditional bicycle built for two, and ate more than our share of lobster-based meals. After our respite from the “real world,” we flew back home, with a quick beach stop in Martha’s Vineyard.


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Posted 7 Sep 2020 by John McManigle in Flying, Notes, Travel

Duke Hyperbaric Chamber   Leave a comment

One of the unique opportunities of anesthesia residency at Duke is the opportunity to work in the hyperbaric chamber. The division and chamber has a storied history, perhaps most notable for the Atlantis Dives, an effort that culminated in three volunteers’ record-breaking chamber dive to 2,250 feet. Today, the chamber continues a combination of routine therapy for wound healing and other chronic indications; emergency therapy for carbon monoxide poisoning, air embolism, and dive emergencies; and a fantastic program of research. It is the only civilian hyperbaric facility with US Navy certification. The chambers themselves look like something out of a cold war submarine movie, and so pictures earned a spot here.

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Posted 19 Nov 2016 by John McManigle in Notes

Summer of Graduations   1 comment

After finishing my DPhil at Oxford last year, and completing the final year of Duke medical school this year, this spring was filled with graduation festivities. It was a big summer for my sister Lorne as well, who earned her juris doctor at UNC Law. Over the space of just a few weeks, we celebrated Lorne’s law graduation as well as my graduations from Duke and Oxford. We were lucky enough to get Bill back into some MD robes and take a family academic dress picture or two!

Summer of Graduations

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Posted 4 Jun 2016 by John McManigle in Notes

May Day Oxford Farewell   Leave a comment

After passing my viva on 10 April with minor corrections, submitting the corrected thesis on 28 April and having it approved 30 April, the only task remaining to formally complete the Doctor of Philosophy degree is submission of the final bound thesis document to the Bodleian Library. By happy coincidence, this was just in time for both Sabine’s MPhil submission deadline and May Day.

We began the morning by sneaking to Wolfson’s boat house under cover of darkness and taking an early-morning row in the double scull to Magdalen Bridge, where we could hear the Magdalen College Choir perform its traditional tower-top performance. In the afternoon, we deposited our theses at the Exam Schools and went on to celebrate Oxford courses wrapping up well.

May Day 2015 Submission

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Posted 1 May 2015 by John McManigle in Notes

Ducklings on the Isis   Leave a comment

Ducklings on the Isis

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Posted 20 May 2014 by John McManigle in Notes

Henley Boat Races 2014   1 comment

Each year, Wolfson sends a contingent of Dark Blue supporters to the Henley Boat Races. These races include the varsity events for the men’s and women’s lightweight rowing crews. Additionally, 2014 is the final year in which the women’s openweight race was also contested in Henley. Thanks to a push by Newton, sponsor of the Women’s Boat Race, that race will join the openweight men on the Championship Course in London beginning in 2015.

After a winter of flooding, the river and weather came together in just enough time for a beautiful Henley Boat Races. The atmosphere on the bank was jovial as Oxford won two of the three varsity fixtures (lightweight and openweight women), losing only the lightweight men’s race.


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Posted 30 Mar 2014 by John McManigle in Notes, Rowing

Baltimore Lights   Leave a comment

One of the many joys of the holiday season can be found in the crisp air and sparkling lights in the long nights. Here are pictures from two examples.

First, Lisa and I went to Baltimore’s 34th Street, where for the past 66 years, (most of the) residents take it upon themselves to put together a pretty impressive holiday light show. The block really stands out against most of downtown Baltimore’s rowhouses, where a few lights in the window are the norm.

Next, Grace, a friend from DukeMed who originally hails from Baltimore, took a flight with me to see her hometown from the air. The air traffic controllers let us fly around the downtown area, and Grace was able to get a couple of great pictures of the Inner Harbor and Johns Hopkins Hospital.


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Posted 21 Dec 2013 by John McManigle in Flying, Notes

Baltimore Aquarium   Leave a comment

Saturday afternoon, I visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore with Lisa. It’s been at least seven years since I’d visited this renowned aquarium on the Inner Harbor, but its collection of over 17,000 fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and marine mammals is as breathtaking as ever. Although we couldn’t cover the whole site, we did see plenty of fish, a Giant Pacific Octopus, seahorses, jellyfish aplenty, coral, urchins, rays, dolphins, turtles, and more.


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Posted 24 Nov 2013 by John McManigle in Notes

Early Tales of Baltimore   Leave a comment

Although my posts since being back in the States have been about adventures away from home, I’m finding Baltimore is a pretty friendly place to live and work. Here are a few local pictures. First, when Katie from Penn State came to visit in April, we visited Fort McHenry. This star fort most famous for its role in the defence of Baltimore during the War of 1812. After seeing the US flag flying over the fort the morning after a decisive bombardment and battle, Francis Scott Key wrote what would become the national anthem of the United States. We took the water taxi over to the fort and took a look around on a beautiful Saturday.

The other set of pictures is from my accidental encounter with the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race on the way home from the grocery store one day. This race is a hilarious endeavour, wherein homemade, human-powered “sculptures” must traverse road, water, and mud in an hours-long race. The rules are myriad, but include such gems as:


Each Sculpture must carry at all times 1 comforting item of psychological luxury heretofore referred to as the “Homemade Sock Creature” (HSC). Homemade Sock Creature must be made in a home, from a not-too-recently-worn sock from the home, and resemble a creature homemade from a sock. (penalty: 1 hour)

It certainly seemed like the competitors were having a good time!


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Posted 4 May 2013 by John McManigle in Notes