Tag Archives: Memory

The pineal: seat of the soul

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Pineal gland The pineal for millennia had been a structure of mystery. In Ancient Egyptian culture, The Eye of Horus was a sign of prosperity and protection, often referred to as the third eye. In Ayurvedic physiology it corresponds to the sixth chakra—Ajna, located in the […]

R. Austin Freeman and the Victorian forensic thriller

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Richard Austin Freeman, c. 1935. W.L. Briant. Via Encyclopædia Britannica. Many people today are acquainted with well-known books and television series of forensic crime fiction. The modern detective fiction writer is expected to provide detailed descriptions of autopsies, current technology, pharmacology, and toxicology. Yet, even in this relatively new version […]

Paul Pierre Broca

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Paul Pierre Broca. US National Library of Medicine. At the turn of the nineteenth century, knowledge of how the brain worked was largely conjectural. Intelligence, memory, language, and motor and sensory functions had not been localized. The physiologist Flourens, promoting the notion of “cerebral equipotentiality,” concluded, […]

Reconstructing memories and history in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Tonse N. K. Raju Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States   García Márquez, G. One Hundred Years of Solitude, 1967. Source Courtesy: Harper &Row. “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” In the opening sentence of his extraordinary […]

Of Mice and Men: a differential diagnosis for Lennie Small

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Colin Waters stars as Lennie in Charleston Stage’s 2018 production of Of Mice and Men. Photo courtesy of Marybeth Clark. Source. In John Steinbeck’s 1937 novel Of Mice and Men,1 the two main characters work as itinerant laborers on farms and ranches in California during the Great Depression. Their only attachments […]

Omentum: much more than “policeman of the abdomen”

Ashok Singh Chicago, Illinois, United States   Histology of activated omentum 3 days after placing a 5 cc slurry of inert polydextran particles of approx. 100 micron diameter (1 million particles) in the abdominal cavity of rats. Note the dramatic change in the size and quality of the omentum. While the native omentum is fatty […]

The amnesic jokester

Jason Brandt Baltimore, Maryland, United States   Black-and-white drawing of a man scratching his head, from The Evening Ledger, Philadelphia, May 4 1916. scanned by Open Clip Art Library user Johnny Automatic. Via Wikimedia Bob T. had suffered a stroke. Not the kind of massive, devastating stroke that left him bereft of language (aphasia), or […]

A dog like that

Rebecca Osborn New Haven, Connecticut, United States   An Old Man with a Dog. Giacomo Ceruti. 1740s. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “You ever seen a dog like that?” I smile and shake my head. Tony sips his black coffee, his eyes lingering on the open doorway. “What a dog. What a beautiful dog. Most […]

A birth remembered

F. Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. The Birth of Benjamin and the Death of Rachel, by Francesco Furini (1600 or 1603-1646). Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Memory is to old age as presbyopia (far-sightedness) is to eyesight. Presbyopia makes you lose the ability to see clearly at a normal near […]

Up north

Richard Bentley Amherst, Massachusetts, United States   Lake Michigan. Photo by Qfamily on Flickr. July 15, 2006. CC BY 2.0. He had come to Northern Michigan, and the lake gulls were shrieking at him. He had been on vacation only two days, but he sat around the cabin, springing up now and then to go […]