Tag Archives: United States

The finality in their voices II: physiology-defying violent opera death

Lea C. Dacy Eelco F. M. Wijdicks Rochester, Minnesota, United States   The title character in Werther bleeding profusely from a self-inflicted gunshot wound but still able to sing an extended aria, used with permission from Alamy. In a previous article, we reviewed the plausibility of opera deaths in wasting diseases such as that of […]

Harriet Tubman, Joan of Arc, and Moses

Faraze A. Niazi Jack E. Riggs  Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   Harriet Tubman 1822 – 1913 Slave, abolitionist, activist. Suggested to have had visions and dreams as manifestations of temporal lobe epilepsy. Via the Library of Congress. Listen to my words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, reveal myself to them in visions, […]

Ludwig van Beethoven: music and medicine

Michael Yafi Chaden Yafi Houston, Texas, United States   Beethoven home and surrounding area. Photos by Michael Yafi. December 2020 marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. The causes of the composer’s deafness and his death at the age of fifty-six have remained unknown, even after an autopsy carried out soon […]

Beauty in breaking

Lealani Mae Y. Acosta Nashville, Tennessee, United States   Photo courtesy of Lealani Mae Acosta. Permission granted by Teresa Briley-Scott.  I had a succulent hanging from my office cabinet, suspended in a clear teardrop-shaped terrarium: its spiny green arches floated above a mound of fake snow, which I intermittently illuminated by touching the built-in switch […]

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 […]

Pink and yellow

Govind Krishnan Durham, North Carolina, United States   The Magpie by Claude Monet. 1868 – 1869. Musée d’Orsay. Via Wikimedia  I am wearing pink, I have a rosy glow My breaths are even, measured, slow The doctors come and go. Come and go. Come and go. But sometimes they mutter, their heads bowed low. And […]

John Hunter, Harvey Cushing, and acromegaly

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1. Charles Byrne, a giant, George Cranstoun, a dwarf, and three other normal sized men. Etching by J. Kay, 1794. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Introduction John Hunter and Harvey Cushing were two of the most preeminent surgeons of their eras. John Hunter is considered […]

Gospel Argonaut

Josephine Ensign Seattle, Washington, United States   Entrance to Wayside Mission Hospital housed on the steamboat IDAHO, Seattle, circa 1900. Photo: University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections UW6573. Short of stature and tall of tales, Alexander de Soto was by some accounts a highly educated, skilled, compassionate physician and surgeon, and by other accounts a […]

Medicean optics: an analysis of Raffaello’s Portrait of Pope Leo X and Two Cardinals

Vincent P. de Luise  New Haven, Connecticut, United States   Portrait of Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici) and his cousins, the cardinals Giulio de’ Medici and Luigi de’ Rossi. Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael). ​o​il on panel 154 cm x 119 cm (​61 in. ​x 4​9​ ​in​). 1518-1519. Galleria degli ​Uffizi​, ​Firenze​. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is […]

“Gentlemen! This is no humbug.”

Summer A. Niazi Jack E. Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   First Operation Under Ether, by Robert C. Hinckley, Boston Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, 1882-1893 (Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology) Source The words “Gentlemen! This is no humbug” is one of the most famous statements in the history of […]