Tag Archives: James Franklin

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 […]

Mankind and the camel: An old romance

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1 (left). Dromedary camels, Saudi Arabia. Figure 2 (right). Bactrian camel, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, Illinois.   “The camel is a horse designed by a committee.” This quotation is attributed to Sir Alec Issgonis (1906–1988), a British car designer who worked for the Morris Minor Company […]

Ben Hecht and the “Miracle of the Fifteen Murderers”

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   “Miracle of the Fifteen Murderers: The X Club holds a post-mortem“ by Ben Hecht. Collier’s Weekly, January 16, 1943, pp. 11–12, via The Unz Review. Fair use. The January 16, 1943 issue of Collier’s Weekly featured a short story by the famous and multifaceted author Ben Hecht […]

Entomophagy: History, global food shortage, and climate change

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1 – Khoisan – Igniting a Fire On a recent wildlife adventure to the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, our group of adventurers was treated to an afternoon walk with a group of local Khoisan villagers. They were eager to show us how they were able to […]

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 […]

Guaiac and “the old Guaiacum test”

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Guaiacum officinale. Photo by Forest and Kim Starr. July 27, 2007. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 3.0. “The old Guaiacum test was very clumsy and uncertain.” — A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1887   So declares Mr. Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel A Study […]

“God Helps Them That Help Themselves”: Poor Richard and the inoculation controversy

Stewart Justman Missoula, Montana, United States   Poor Richard, 1739. An Almanack for the Year of Christ 1739. Benjamin Franklin Library of Congress Rare Book & Special Collections Division. Via Wikimedia. Before vaccination there was inoculation, and long before opposition to vaccination for Covid-19 there was furious resistance to the practice of inoculating for smallpox. […]

Rudyard Kipling and the medical profession

George Dunea James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois   Portrait of Rudyard Kipling from the biography Rudyard Kipling by John Palmer. 1907. Accessed via Wikimedia Born in Bombay but educated in England, the great master of the English language did not return to India until he was seventeen years old in 1882. He worked for local newspapers in […]

Philip Roth’s Nemesis: a lesson for today

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Polio patient in a wheelchair. Images like this were used to encourage individuals to receive polio vaccinations, which were made available in April 1955. CDC Public Health Library. Source.  As we grapple with the impact of the current pandemic caused by the coronavirus, Covid–19, we may wish to […]

A bit of irony: Sir William Wilde and Oscar Wilde

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Portrait of Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) in New York, 1882. Early in the afternoon of November 30, 1900, thirty-six hours after he had lapsed into a coma, a man named Sebastian Melmoth died at the Hotel d’Alsace in the Rue des Beaux Art. His assumed name eluded few […]