Tag Archives: Technology

Louis Braille: wondrous gift, punishing recipe

Lauren Hill Walnut Cove, North Carolina, United States Jack Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, United States Louis Braille (1809–1852), blinded and ultimately dying by “opportunity” … but not before inventing a wondrous gift to humanity. From De Tampon, 1925. Via Wikimedia. No known restrictions on publication.   “… as need, the mother of all inventions, taught […]

Flesh on flesh

Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States Holding hands. Photo by Jclk8888 on Pixabay. Via Wikimedia. Public domain.   There is a solace to flesh on flesh,   a laying on of the hands, a ritual of caring,  but now, in our distant worlds,  we hide in pixeled foxholes,  tap, tap, tapping on computers, tablets, and […]

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 […]

Rudolf Virchow and the anthropology of race

Friedrich C. Luft Detlev Ganten Berlin, Germany   Fig. 1. Rudolf Virchow as anthropologist. Portrait by Hanns Fechner (1891). Rudolf Virchow, born in 1821, was arguably the most important German physician, biologist, social scientist, and anthropologist of the nineteenth century. His establishment of cellular pathology is known by all and his comment that “politics is […]

A “most perfect interchange”

Satyabha Tripathi Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India   The Doctor. Luke Fildes. 1891. Tate Gallery, London. Via Wikimedia. “[Lydgate held] the conviction that the medical profession as it might be was the finest in the world; presenting the most perfect interchange between science and art; offering the most direct alliance between intellectual conquest and the social […]

The history of polio and cigarettes, and the need for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Daniel Gelfman Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   Polio Vaccine and Fundraising Matchbook. Photograph at the Science History Institute, Philadelphia. Photo Credit: Daniel Gelfman, July 3, 2021. Depicted in this display (Picture 1) at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia are technologic marvels. The first is a box that contained early vials of Dr. Salk’s formalin […]

Snapped by Snapchat: social media and adolescents

Ganga Prasanth Austin, Texas, United States   Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash  When was the last time you checked in with social media? An hour ago? Thirty minutes? Maybe ten? Social media plays a large role in modern society. Humans have an innate drive to belong to groups and take part in social interactions; and a sense […]

Eugenics: historic and contemporary

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Moral judgments, changing ethical criteria, and the broader concepts of good and evil are always controversial, and often dangerous. Prominent amongst such judgments are those relating to population control and the wider, ill-defined field of eugenics. Hidden, and often ignored or denied in these conversations, is the underlying […]

Gilgamesh and medicine’s quest to conquer death

Anika Khan Karachi, Pakistan   The warrior king Gilgamesh grasping a lion in his left hand, and a snake in his right. (Assyrian palace relief on display in the Louvre) “O Uta-napishti, what should I do and where should I go? A thief has taken hold of my [flesh!] For there in my bed-chamber Death […]

The lost art and the hidden treasure

Jennifer Bingham Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania   It is the moment we catch ourselves wishing someone had mentioned how many pieces were in this puzzle that we look up to find progress. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels. The puzzle box is empty and the pieces are scattered across the table. After all, a puzzle was never meant […]