Tag Archives: Fall 2014

A difficult diagnosis: humor – how we laugh at doctors

Kate Baggott St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada   Photography by Oliver Gouldthorpe “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it,”1 silent film star Charlie Chaplin wrote in his autobiography. Chaplin’s words do not exactly connect the funny bone to the humerus, and the anatomy of comedy has never been […]

The truth of the imagination

John Graham-Pole Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada   Scene from “As You Like It” Photography by UMTAD “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances.” Life as Performance Art The bard got it right: we are all actors, whether stars or bit players. Our […]

Sophocles’ Antigone and the complexities of suicide

Grant Gillett Robin Hankey Otago, New Zealand Antigone leads Oedipus out of Thebes Charles François Jalabert Musée des Beaux Arts, Marseilles, France Suicide has been a recurring human tragedy for as long as human affairs have been recorded. The principal suicide in Antigone does not at first pass seem relevant to the twentieth century, as […]

Mind the translation gap

Debi Roberson United Kingdom   The author is grateful for funding from the ESRC (grant R000238310) and from the Royal Society (grant IE121122) which made this research and the report possible.     Figure 1: People of Papua New Guinea navigating the Sepik River Between 1996 and 1998, I made three research trips to the […]

The illusion of rainbows

Bryant Phan Palo Alto, California, USA    The street lamps in my neighborhood flicker in Technicolor before shutting off. A glimmer of orange surrounding the houses outside the window catches my eye. The outline of each house turns grey before imprinting a series of geometrical shapes in the back of my mind. My father obsessively […]

The interrupted concerto: Jacqueline du Pré and MS

Lea C. Dacy Moses Rodriguez Rochester, Minnesota, United States   Enhanced portrait of cellist by www.AB-Photography.us. Used with permission of subject and photographer. Although promoted as a “comeback,” it was almost her last public performance. In February 1973, the late Jacqueline du Pré performed the Elgar Cello Concerto in London with the New Philharmonia Orchestra conducted […]

Those golden years

Richard Sobel Kibbutz Revivim, Israel   The Golden Years Joseph Burrough “I’ve only ever had one wrinkle, and I’m sitting on it.” Jeanne Clement was one hundred ten years old but cheerful and lucid when she made that remark during an interview. She may still have been smoking: she stopped only when her vision became […]

Death by voodoo: truth or tale?

Judith N. Wagner Munich, Germany     Figure 1. A pointing bone used for voodoo spells. “Their medicine men have tremendous power over them: if they doom one of them to die, the unfortunate will accept his fate, isolate himself from his family and pass away within a short time.” I vividly remember the octogenarian, […]

The law of diminishing returns: biomedical research in trouble

Hans Peter Dietz Australia   It is that season of the year again. The medical faculty of my university bids us to attend another celebratory dinner, an opportunity to hand out awards and congratulate ourselves on how well we are all doing. In recent times such events leave me a bit confused. On the one […]