Tag Archives: Winter 2020

Michel de Montaigne in his circular library

Portrait of Michel de Montaigne c. 1570 At the age of thirty-eight, in 1571, the aristocratic Michel de Montaigne retired from public life and “servitude at the court” in order to spend in his château “what little remains of his life, now more than half had run out.” He passed the next ten years or […]

Destination

J Rush Pierce Lakewood, CO, United States   Chasm Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. Photo taken by the author 27 August 2016. It must have started some time before, but I was unaware of it on that pleasant September day, hiking in the rocky foothills of northern New Mexico with my daughter. Arriving […]

Engage the emotions

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610). The Taking of Christ, 1602 Oil on canvas. 135.5 x 169.5 cm L.14702. On indefinite loan to the National Gallery of Ireland from the Jesuit Community, Leeson St., Dublin, who acknowledge the kind generosity of the late Dr Marie Lea-Wilson, 1992 Photo © […]

The bullet in Garibaldi’s ankle

Giuseppe Garibaldi will forever be remembered as the greatest hero of the Italian risorgimento and struggle for independence. Even today there is no city in Italy, large or small, that has not raised a statue in his honor. He had been popular even before Italian unification, throughout Europe and especially in England. Had he not […]

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 […]

The bubonic plague in Eyam

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   William Mompesson In medicine most instances of outstanding acts of heroic human courage relate to individual patients or to their attendant doctors, nurses, and caregivers. Here is a unique example of the collective self-sacrifice of a tiny rural community, which probably saved the lives of thousands. The year […]

Epidemics from plague to Coronavirus

Michael Yafi Houston, Texas, United States   Copper engraving of Doctor Schnabel [i.e Dr. Beak], a plague doctor in seventeenth-century Rome. From the Internet Archive’s copy of Eugen Hollände Die Karikatur und Satire in der Medizin: Medico-Kunsthistorische Studie von Professor Dr. Eugen Holländer. circa 1656. Throughout history humanity has faced many epidemics and pandemics that caused […]

Ferdinand Sauerbruch, father of thoracic surgery

Annabelle Slingerland Leon Lacquet Leiden, the Netherlands   Ferndinand Sauerbruch at a medical lecture at the University of Zurich, between 1910 and 1917. Source unknown. Accessed via Wikimedia commons. Source Ferdinand Sauerbruch (1875-1951) was one of the most important thoracic surgeons of the first half of the twentieth century, remembered for pioneering a method that […]

The death of King George II

In November 1760, the King of Great Britain rose early as was his custom and drank his habitual cup of chocolate. He then went to use his commode on wheels, and minutes later was discovered slumped on the floor, dead. The next day his physician, Frank Nicholls, “opened the body” and found the king had […]

Danse of the virus

S.E.S. Medina Benbrook, Texas   HIV infecting a lymphocyte. © iStockphoto It is born with tens of thousands of identical brothers and sisters when the thin-walled, transparent, fatty bubble of their nurturing womb suddenly bursts—releasing them into the tumultuary rapids of the host’s bloodstream. It possesses no sense of self, no manner of consciousness—even in […]