“OPIATE, n. An unlocked door in the prison of Identity. It leads into the jail yard”*…
From 1999 to 2010, the sale of prescription painkillers to pharmacies and doctors’ offices quadrupled. In the exact same time span, the number of overdose deaths from prescription painkillers also quadrupled, rising to almost 17,000…
How the American opiate epidemic was started by one pharmaceutical company: “Poison Pill.”
* Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
As we note that “one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small,” we might send re-engineered birthday greetings to Sir Thomas Bouch; he was born on this date in 1822. A railway engineer and executive whose career began at age 17, Bouch was knighted for designing the two-mile-long Tay River Bridge— on which an estimated 75 people died when the bridge collapsed. An enquiry found Bouch to be liable, by virtue of bad design and construction; he died four months after the verdict.
Bouch is thus also indirectly responsible for the best-known poem, “The Tay Bridge Disaster,” by the gentleman widely-regarded to have been the the worst published poet in British history, William Topaz McGonagall.