Tag Archives: Winter 2014

Experiencing metaphor: a medieval headache

Jamie McKinstry Durham University, United Kingdom   Metaphors have been used extensively in medicine to describe patients, illustrate diseases, and educate students.1 By comparing unlike things that have something in common, they enhance communication in education, science, and clinical medicine.2 Not restricted to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, their use dates back to areas such […]

Life at the table

Isabel Azevedo Porto, Portugal   Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1412 – 1416 Herman, Paul, and Johan Limbourg Musée Condé, France In the days when human time was organized differently and every hour had its meaning, meals were community events, mostly family events, where people met to socialize as well as dine. Someone […]

The unloved gut

Fergus Shanahan Ireland   “My brain, it’s my second favorite organ” pronounced Woody Allen.1 For many, it is the seat of the soul, the source of creativity and much more, whereas the heart represents passion, courage, and character. Fondness for other organs relates to warmth and honesty in the eyes, clarity in the skin, beauty […]

Reading poems, saving lives

Dean Gianakos Virginia, United States   Men and women who tout the value of poetry like to refer to a stanza in William Carlos Williams’ famous love poem, “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower”, written in 1947: It is difficult To get the news from poems Yet men die miserably every day For lack Of what is […]

Scarification: harmful cultural practice or vehicle to higher being?

Kenneth Michael Felsenstein National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United States (Winter 2014) Scarification is the act of “covering, disguising and transforming the body”1 by creating wounds in one’s own flesh in order to cause indelible markings. It is perhaps one of the most misunderstood body modification procedures done today, largely perceived in Western society as a […]

Healing through laughter

Farrah Bui Princeton University, New Jersey, United States (Winter 2014) Laughing boy, c. 1625 Frans Hals Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague “If there is one thing to know about me, it’s that I refuse to ever eat honey again,” Ben explains to the audience. Immediately, looks of confusion and raised eyebrows appear among the […]

Life at the table

Isabel Azevedo, MD, PhD Universidade do Porto, Portugal Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1412 – 1416 Herman, Paul, and Johan Limbourg Musée Condé, France In the days when human time was organized differently and every hour had its meaning, meals were community events, mostly family events, where people met to socialize as well […]

The unloved gut

Fergus Shanahan, MD University College Cork, Ireland “My brain, it’s my second favorite organ” pronounced Woody Allen.1 For many, it is the seat of the soul, the source of creativity and much more, whereas the heart represents passion, courage, and character. Fondness for other organs relates to warmth and honesty in the eyes, clarity in […]

Lament to measles

Nazan Bilgel Bursa, Turkey   I am the sorrowful, dull winter sun Resting silently on the naked branches of the trees Warming and soothing Villages, roads, and mountain stones. I saw a village far away Behind the mountains, you couldn’t know So described the poet Ceyhun Atuf Kansu himself when he saw so many dying […]

Schubert, Schumann, and the Spirochete

Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828)  Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856) Their names sound Germanic and are somewhat similar, as are their portraits. They wrote beautiful music and rank high among the great composers of the romantic era. To confuse their names would constitute an unforgivable crime, especially in the eye of music lovers. Yet in […]