Posts Tagged ‘medicine’
Over his forty-year career, he has become a shaman of coffee. He’s known among third-wave coffee producers as a prophet of the terroir-focused, light-roast way of life, a man who gives three-hour PowerPoint presentations detailing every facet of the production process, and the rare boomer in a scene made up mostly of people who were either in grade school or not even born when George opened his first shop. People who have worked with him, or seen him speak, or run into him in Ethiopia or Guatemala (“at origin,” in coffee-world lingo), talk about his enthusiasm, his taste, his curiosity, his strong opinions on coffee processing. But mostly they talk about his pragmatically mystical conviction that a higher truth of coffee exists, and that we can figure out how to get to it…
* David Lynch
As we take it black, we might recall that it was on this date in 1931 that the Dr. Miles Medicine Company of Elkhart, Indiana introduce Alka-Seltzer, an effervescent combination of aspirin for headache relief, fevers, and body pain and bi-carbonate of soda to neutralize acids and settle the stomach. (Twenty years later, Miles introduced their “Speedy” mascot.)
For much of recorded history the human body was a black box—a highly capable yet mysterious assemblage of organs, muscles and bones. Even Hippocrates, a man who declared anatomy to be the foundation of medicine, had some interesting ideas about our insides.
By the early Renaissance, scientists and artists were chipping away at this anatomical inscrutability, and illustration was proving a particularly effective way to spread what was being learned via human dissection. There remained one nagging issue, however: accurately representing the body’s three-dimensional structure on a flat, two-dimensional piece of paper. Some artists relied on creative uses of perspective to solve the problem. Others began using flaps…
See 16th century scholars peel away anatomical ignorance one layer at a time at “How Flap Illustrations Helped Reveal the Body’s Inner Secrets.”
* Sigmund Freud
As we peek inside, we might send verbose birthday greetings to Josef Breuer; he was born on this date in 1842. A physician, he made key discoveries in neurophysiology. His work in the 1880s with his patient Bertha Pappenheim, known as Anna O., developed the talking cure (cathartic method) and laid the foundation to psychoanalysis as developed by his protégé, Sigmund Freud.
(Though Breuer’s treatment of Anna O. was not nearly as successful as he and Freud claimed, she eventually overcame her symptoms to become an innovative social worker and a leader of the women’s movement in Germany.)
For three days, thousands of uninsured Americans converge on the Wise County [Virginia] Fairgrounds for the largest pop-up clinic in the country. Most are poor, many are in pain, but all have faith in a level of care that neither the government nor private industry can provide…
A story both heart-warming and horrifying: “Tent Revival.”
* Kurt Vonnegut,
As we tend to the needy, we might send instructive birthday greetings to William Sanford “Bill” Nye; he was born on this date in 1955. A mechanical engineer turned actor, science educator, and television presenter, he is best known as the host of the PBS children’s science show Bill Nye the Science Guy (1993–1998), and for his many subsequent appearances in popular media.
Nye was greatly influenced by Carl Sagan, with whom he studied astronomy at Cornell University. He began his career with Boeing, in Seattle, designing hydraulic systems, from the early to mid 1980s. From 1986-91, he created and developed the Science Guy persona for local radio and TV, while eking out a spartan existence as a stand-up comedian. But in 1992. he made a pilot program for the local PBS station, attracted underwriters, and launched what became a five-year national PBS series, Bill Nye the Science Guy. Since then he has appeared in other TV science programs and as a guest expert on TV shows, continuing his quest to make science accessible to the public. He currently serves as CEO of The Planetary Society.
New data show that, in certain medical fields, large majorities of physicians tend to share the political leanings of their colleagues, and a study suggests ideology could affect some treatment recommendations. In surgery, anesthesiology and urology, for example, around two-thirds of doctors who have registered a political affiliation are Republicans. In infectious disease medicine, psychiatry and pediatrics, more than two-thirds are Democrats.
The conclusions are drawn from data compiled by researchers at Yale. They joined two large public data sets, one listing every doctor in the United States and another containing the party registration of every voter in 29 states…
It would be tempting to conclude that it’s all about the Benjamins… and data does support that:
But age and gender play roles too. One can examine for oneself at “Your Surgeon Is Probably a Republican, Your Psychiatrist Probably a Democrat.”
* (Physician) heal thyself, from the Vulgate, Luke 4:23
As we turn our heads and cough, we might recall that it was on this date in 1823 that Scottish chemist and waterproof fabric pioneer Charles Macintosh sold the first “raincoat.”
Originally published in 1876, this book is remarkable not only for being the first major work in contemporary chromotherapy, but also for its unique appearance. True to the ideas held within — that blue light is bearer of unique and special properties — the book is entirely printed with blue ink on blue paper. Its author, a retired US Civil War general named Augustus James Pleasonton, proposed that isolating blue wavelengths from the sun could benefit the growth of both flora and fauna, and also help to eradicate disease in humans. The science was shaky at best…
As we step away from the monitor, we might recall that it was on this date in 1772 that the soon-to-be state of New Jersey passed the first law in the US to license medical practitioners, except those who do not charge for their services, or whose activity is bleeding patients or pulling teeth. There is to this day no federal medical licensing law.
Public health impacts all of us, in every corner of the globe, every day of our lives — not only our health and safety, but also how we live, what we wear, what we eat, what happens to our environment and the stewardship of our planet. For better or worse, these 100 objects have made their mark on public health. Some, such as vaccines, have helped keep us healthy. Others, including cigarettes, have made us sick. Some are surprising (horseshoe crabs?) and others make perfect sense (bicycle helmet). Some are relics from the past (spittoon) and others are products of our digital age (smartphone)…
In celebration of its centennial, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has compiled a list of the “100 Objects That Shaped Public Health.”
* “Arguably the greatest technological triumph of the century has been the public-health system, which is sophisticated preventive and investigative medicine organized around mostly low- and medium-tech equipment; … fully half of us are alive today because of the improvements.”
― Richard Rhodes,
As we buckle our seat belts, we might send thoughtfully-seasoned birthday greetings to David Marine; he was born on this date in 1888. A pathologist, he is best remembered for his trial, from 1917 to 1922, during which he supplemented the diets of Ohio schoolgirls with iodine, which greatly reduced their development of goiter— and led to the iodization of table salt (one of Johns Hopkins’ 100 Objects).