Wednesday, September 29, 2010

7ft worms, hermaphrodite sailors and resurrection by tobacco revealed in archive

Worms seven feet in length, the first documented case of a hermaphrodite and the tale of a sailor who was saved from death by tobaccco smoke have emerged in a catalogue of bizarre Naval doctors' records disclosed by the National Archive.

By Andy Bloxham

7ft worms, hermaphrodite sailors and resurrection by tobacco 
revealed in archive: The Royal Navy Medical Officer Journals have been 
catalogued by the National Archives

In the calm lines of the notebooks' closely spaced copperplate are records of lightning strikes, gun fights and mutinous crews.
There are courts martial, shipwrecks and even murder during the long ocean journeys undertaken by the doctors' ships between 1793 and 1880.

The patients were the ratings, officers, emigrants and convicts being taken - often permanently - to other parts of the Empire and the records of their treatment provide a detailed glimpse into the past.

More than 1,000 Royal Navy Medical Officer Journals have been made accessible to the public following a two-year cataloguing project at the National Archives in Kew.

7ft worms, hermaphrodite sailors and resurrection by tobacco 
revealed in archive: The Royal Navy Medical Officer Journals have been 
catalogued by the National Archives

One passenger was 12-year-old Ellen McCarthy, who was on board the Elizabeth sailing from Cork, Ireland, to Quebec, Canada, in June 1825 when she fell ill and coughed up three intestinal worms which her mother took to the ship's surgeon.

The doctor, identified only as one P Power, wrote: "Complained yesterday evening of pain in the bottom of the belly increased on pressure, abdomen hard and swollen, picks her nose, starts in her sleep, bowels constipated, pyrexia [fever], tongue foul, pulse quick, skin hot, great thirst.

"Her mother brought me a lumbricus [worm] this morning 87 inches long which the patient vomited. The medicine operated well."

The naval surgeon treated the girl with a range of syrups and injections including barley water, calomel [mercury chloride - a laxative now known to be toxic], jalap [a tuber with laxative effects] and brandy punch to ease the symptoms and restore her digestive system to normality."

However, he said the most effective treatment was "oil of terebouth" - or turpentine.

Cures were required for scorpion, tarantula and shark bites, scurvy and many different forms of sexually transmitted diseases, while some of the doctors collected poisonous sea snakes for further study..

Hump day haiku

Twinkle, twinkle
On his bed again
Tantrums over piano
O sole mio!

A Thomas Jefferson Education
Yoga in the schools
How is this not religion?
Where is Socrates?

Dancing with the Stars sends cry baby home
Try dancing in heels
before you whine about things
sad songs say so much

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tracey Ullman as Rachel Maddow, Arianna Huffington, Meghan McCain, Barney Frank, and Christiane Amanpour

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field in 3D

Monkey Picked Tea

Touched by a Monkey wind blows the blossoms in the garden. The monk breathes in. The air is crisp; the world is good. The only thing missing is some tea. Alas, the tea tree branches are too high and the mountain face is too steep. He stops in thought. His monkey, however, knowing his master wants tea, climbs the mountain face, picks the leaves, and brings them to the monk. And the tea was so delicious, other people began training their monkeys to pick it. So the legend goes.

After searching across four continents, we found this unbelievable tea. The lovely folks who package the tea for us say:
Nowadays the practice of monkeys picking tea has all but died out, except in one small remote village where they still continue this remarkable tradition. No monkeys are harmed or mistreated in order for us to bring this rare brew to you!
Monkey Picked Tea

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ode to a Mushroom

For Vincenzo:

Yo! What fungus from yonder tree breaks?
It has nothing in its self that is pleasing to the eye.
I nibble firm, spongy, flesh

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monkey Business at Prada

"They’re carrying fox fur stoles, some striped like a tiger’s tail, and monkeys are scrambling up the sides of some of the dresses.."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hump day haiku

Serial monogamy
Divorced? No more.
Single is the new status
On social networks

When a man loves a woman
Single moms, you rock
Hubby is gone for the week
Toilet is backed up

Looking for love in all the wrong places
Door ringers last night
Take Action Minnesota
You are kidding, right?

Sales of Comic Books Plunge. Is Liberal Bias to Blame?

[T]he Aug. 2010 comic sales were down 17 percent from one year earlier, the steepest year-over-year sales slide since the 19 percent drop in May 2009...Only time will tell if this is an aberration or the sign of a steepening slide for the sequential art industry....the most popular comic book in the country sold a little over 90,000 copies nationwide. That's a smaller circulation than many regional newspapers.

As many people know, comic books used to have sales figures in the millions. Even as late as 1996, an issue of X-men had a circulation more twice what it is now.

I'm sure there are many reason for the decline. Still, I have to wonder if the mainstream companies' strong pro-Obama, pro-liberal, bias isn't a contributing factor.

Since 2009, mainstream comic books, especially from industry leader Marvel, have gone out of their way to laud the president and attack his detractors. The company even went so far as to publish a story where Captain America all but declared the Tea Party to be a group of racists...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Top 5 Most Sinister Corporate Logos

From The Vigilant Citizen:

"Big corporations pay millions in public relations to make customers associate their brand with a warm and fuzzy feeling. It is imperative that the soulless and inherently greedy nature of the corporation be hidden behind a family-friendly facade. But some companies just don’t give a hoot. They hate you, your family and especially your cat and they don’t care if you know it. They even display their evilness right on their logo. Here is my top 5 of most sinister logos."

#5- Alfa Romeo

"Yes, I agree they make great looking European cars. But look closely at the logo. Why is there a  snake eating a little terrified guy on it? I mean me personally, I’m a human, not a giant snake-dragon. So the fact that a snake is eating a person is unsettling for me because I tend to identify with the person and not the giant crowned snake. If you look at the logo’s history, the ancient ones depicted the guy in a more vivid way."


"In older logos, the little guy is in different color, still waving his arms in a seemingly desperate cry for help

The official story of the logo is that Romano Cattaneo was given the task to come up with a badge for the then new company, in 1910. While waiting for a train at Piazza Castello in Milan, he gained inspiration from the Visconti family’s coat of arms displayed on a door. It features a “biscione” which is a serpent eating a human child.  It reportedly terrified the local populous of Milan in the early part of the 5th century A.D. It has been said that the human being eaten is a Moor, during the Crusades. If that’s the case, who or what does the serpent symbolize?.."


Top 5 Most Sinister Corporate Logos


Is it Something in the Water?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mapping Stereotypes

Europe According to USA

Europe According to France

Europe According to Germany

Europe According to Italy

Europe According to Bulgaria

Europe According to Britain

Murder Suspect to Plead Insanity by Caffeine

(AP)  A Kentucky man accused of strangling his wife is poised to claim excessive caffeine from sodas, energy drinks and diet pills left him so mentally unstable he couldn't have knowingly killed his wife, his lawyer has notified a court.

Prince Charles Eavesdrops on Tourists, Speaks to Plants


If anyone visiting Prince Charles' home had opened the right door at just the right time, they may have been greeted with an unusual sight: the Prince of Wales laying face flat on the floor, eyes closed and ears perked in concentration.

He was, of course, trying to eavesdrop on some of the 30,000 annual tourists who pay 15 pounds each to tour his 900-acre royal estate in Gloucestershire...

"I happily talk to the plants and trees, and listen to them. I think it's absolutely crucial," the prince says. "Everything I've done here, it's like almost with your children. Every tree has a meaning for me..."

Winter in Vladykino
Winter in Vladykino (Vasili Nesterenko, 1993)
Click image to enlarge

 h/t The Crescat

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Commissioner in Lunacy

File:Basil Hood 1910.jpg

Basil Hood was born in Yorkshire, the younger son of the psychiatrist Sir Charles Hood, M.D., treasurer to Bethlehem Hospital and a Commissioner in Lunacy.