Monthly Archives: September 2022

Fall 2022 Issue Mockup

Volume 14, Issue 4 – Fall 2022 ISSN 2155-3017 For information and announcements visit At a glance Frontispiece   Diagnosing Mona Lisa, Howard Fischer The painting of the Good Samaritan in Bracciano Castle, Stephen Martin Entomophagy: History, global food shortage, and climate change, James L. Franklin Franz Liszt and Lisztomania, Elizabeth Colledge Ragging, P. Ravi […]

The Barbie doll syndrome

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   1959 first edition Barbie doll. Barbie copyright held by Mattel. Barbieologin on Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0. Fair use. “In all the years I’ve been a therapist, I’ve yet to meet a girl who likes her body.”1 – Mary Pipher, PhD, clinical psychologist   In 1959, the Mattel toy company introduced […]

Book review: Am I Normal?

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, England   Cover of Am I Normal?: The 200-Year Search for Normal People (and Why They Don’t Exist) by Sarah Chaney “Am I normal?” is a question that many of us ask at some point in our lives. The existential angst of the twentieth century has resulted in a desire to […]

Koch’s postulates revisited

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1722), a Dutch botanist, using his early microscope observed single-celled bacteria, which he reported to the Royal Society as animalcules. The science of bacteriology owes its origin to two scientists of coruscating originality, Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. Pasteur may be described as master-architect and Koch as master-builder […]

Samuel Pepys: Stones and groans

  Samuel Pepys. Portrait by John Hayls, 1666. National Portrait Gallery, London. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. I polished up that handle so carefully That now I am the ruler of the Queen’s Navy – HMS Pinafore, Gilbert and Sullivan   Introduction Samuel Pepys (1633–1703) did not polish doorknobs to rise in the world. He was […]

Doctor Cabbie: No good deed goes unpunished

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Restored Checker cab in use as a wedding photo prop in New York City. Photo by Jim.henderson, May 14, 2011, on Wikimedia. Public domain. “I was bound by an oath that I took.” – Doctor Cabbie   Doctor Cabbie (2014) begins with Deepak V. Chopra (played by Vinay Virmani) reciting […]

Physical benefits of Salat prayers in Islam

Nicholas Ghantous London, United Kingdom   The five pillars of Islam are the foundation of the religion. They define a practicing Muslim’s identity and guide Muslims towards communally shared values and service to Allah (God). The pillars consist of the profession of faith, pilgrimage, alms, fasting, and prayer. The pillar of prayer is known as […]

The pyramids of Petach Tikvah

Simon Wein Petach Tikvah   Dead bodies may be burned, buried, left for carrion animals,1 dropped into the sea, mummified, made into fertilizer or diamonds,2 or sent to universities to be dissected. However, there are several reasons why in many cultures the dead are buried in cemeteries and mausoleums: Respecting the dead focuses survivors on […]

It always comes down to medicine

Matthew Turner Washington, United States   Blackbeard the Pirate. Published as “Capt. Teach alias Black-Beard” in A General History of the Lives and Adventures of the Most Famous Highwaymen, Murderers, Street-Robbers, &c. to which is added, a genuine account of the voyages and plunders of the most notorious pyrates. Interspersed with several diverting tales, and […]

Tattoos in the twentieth century

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “It was in 1972 and you didn’t really go around showing tattoos or talking about them… And now all of a sudden it has become the thing to do.”1 – Cher, American singer, actor   Sailor being tattooed by a fellow sailor aboard USS New Jersey in 1944. Photo by […]