Monthly Archives: July 2022

Spinach: The great myth

Popeye the Sailor Man. © King Features Syndicate. Via Wikimedia. Even now, many people believe that spinach is an excellent source of iron and that Popeye the Sailor Man had superhuman strength because he feasted on it. Smart though uneducated, he was supposed to know how to solve difficult problems, and although he did not […]

Marmite versus Vegemite

James Franklin George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   Marmite and Vegemite are similar but not quite the same. Both are classified as spreads and are typically spread with a knife on bread or crackers. They may be regarded as cousins and are both derived from yeast. Marmite, though discovered by a German, is a […]

The beginnings of cell theory: Schleiden, Schwann, and Virchow

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Figure 1. Robert Hooke’s pores (cells) of the cork oak. Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. Every schoolchild is taught in biology about cells and their elemental importance. Students of biological and medical sciences also learn about the Schwann cell sheath that invests nerve fibers. What is less well known is […]

Reading Lacan 1Reading Lacan 2Identification with the Aggressor

Sean Murphy Chicago, Illinois, United States   Created after reading the work of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, Reading Lacan 1 (top) and Reading Lacan 2 (bottom left) capture the abstract nature of his baroque speaking and writing styles. At the same time, they maintain through a bright color palette one goal of psychoanalysis: cure—and with […]

Dr. Désiré-Magloire Bourneville: a man ahead of his time

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Drawing of a children’s puzzle with different shaped pieces and holes. From Assistance, traitement et éducation des enfants idiots et dégénérés: rapport fait au Congrès National d’assistance publique (session de Lyon, juin 1894) by Bourneville (Paris: Aux bureaux du Progrès médical [etc.], 1895), p. 233. Francis A. Countway Library of […]

Asparagus in history and medicine

  A bundle of asparagus. Photo by Evan-Amos on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. In Germany, in the spring, everyone goes wild about asparagus. It is on the menu in all restaurants—asparagus with steak, with ham, or with schnitzel. Its delicious stalks are white if grown in the shade, green from chlorophyll if grown in sunlight. […]

America’s first bronchoscopist

J. Gordon Frierson Palo Alto, California, United States   Autographed portrait of Chevalier Jackson. Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. One day, in the tough coal-mining city of Pittsburgh of the early 1900s, two Sisters of Mercy brought an emaciated, severely dehydrated, seven-year-old girl to a doctor’s office. Sometime earlier the girl had swallowed lye, thinking […]

William Blake

JMS Pearce Hull, England   William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.   William Blake (1757–1827) (Fig 1) was and still is an enigma. He was born on November 28, 1757, one of seven children to James, a hosier, and Catherine Wright Blake at 28 Broad Street in London.1 He once remarked: “Thank God […]

Scar

Michael Loyd Gray Kalamazoo, Michigan   Photo by Min An on Pexels. Alice ran a finger along the scar on his arm and he slowly woke up, his eyes focusing in the dark. She had been watching him sleep. He rolled over to face her. “Can’t you sleep?” she said. “I had a bad dream.” […]

The grieving one: on the death of a spouse

Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States   “A real experience of death isolates one absolutely. The bereaved cannot communicate with the unbereaved.” – Iris Murdoch, An Accidental Man, 1971   ‘Alone’ holds the word ‘one.’ Photo by Javier Ocampo Zuluaga on Pixabay. After the death of a spouse, we are al(one). ____ One pillow […]