Tag Archives: Asia

Mary Niles and the Canton rats

Edward McSweegan Kinston, Rhode Island, United States   Doctor Mary West Niles, Wikipedia  Bubonic plague arrived in Honolulu in December 1899. A month later it had spread to San Francisco, where the infection caused a series of deadly outbreaks until 1907.1 But for decades before plague reached the American west coast, it had burned through […]

Ophthalmology in Regency era China: a portrait of Thomas Richardson Colledge by George Chinnery

Stephen Martin Thailand   Fig. 1. Dr. Thomas Richardson Colledge and his assistant Afun in their Ophthalmic Hospital, Macao, 1833. Oil on canvas. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. Thomas Richardson Colledge (1797-1879) was an ophthalmic surgeon who practiced in Macao, China, for a quarter of a century in the late Regency era. Colledge’s daughter, Frances […]

Locked down!

P. Ravi Shankar Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   Art by Devika Allath, Year 8, Willoughby Girls High School, Sydney, Australia, 13-year-old niece of the author. The sun was about to rise on another day of lockdown. At the beginning of a new day there is a vague sense of optimism, but that is followed by an […]

Plagues and prejudice

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Honolulu Chinatown fire of 1900. Hawaii State Archives.  It was a calm, clear January morning on the gritty streets of paradise. Honolulu, the capital of the newly-annexed U.S. territory of Hawaii, was ushering out a century of upheaval that had included the arrival of explorers, […]

Science versus religion: the medieval disenchantment

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. An engraving showing a monopod or sclapod, a female Cyclops, conjoined twins, a blemmye, and a cynocephali. By Sebastian Münster 1544. Source History is a novel whose author is the people. -Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863)   In medieval times, knowledge, beliefs, and faith were largely centered upon a […]

Blood beliefs and practices in Iran

Bahar Dowlatshahi Tehrann, Iran   Circulation of the blood (human). Wellcome Collection. CC BY Blood is believed to have special abilities and properties in many eastern countries such as Iran. Even human personality traits, emotions, and relationships are referred to with blood. Angry people boil their blood; those who are kind and loving are called warm-blooded. […]

Evolution from recapitulation theory to Neural Darwinism

JMS Pearce London, United Kingdom Early evolutionary theorists noted that the evolution of the brain, its structural organization, and microscopic structure appeared to develop concurrently with human anatomy through the process of evolution. This understanding of the evolution of the brain was heavily influenced by both the theories of phylogeny, which discusses this evolutionary lineage […]