Tag Archives: history

Producing Penicillin

A quick browse of the Penicillin entry on Wikipedia reveals this fascinating history of the ramp-up of drug production during World War II. From 1 patient’s worth in 1942 to 646 billion by mid-1945. The challenge of mass-producing this drug was daunting. On March 14, 1942, the first patient was treated for streptococcal septicemia with […]

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Iran – A Photo Essay

This photo essay on Iran is beautiful, both artistically and humanistically.  Take 5 minutes and treat yourself to a virtual vacation in a land that promises to emerge from its Dark Age very soon. Photo Album – Imgur.

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Fastest Knife in the West End

Richard Gordon describes Liston as “the fastest knife in the West End. He could amputate a leg in 21⁄2 minutes”. Indeed, he is reputed to have been able to complete operations in a matter of seconds, at a time when speed was essential to reduce pain and improve the odds of survival of a patient; […]

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Google Maps: Roman Empire Edition

As a Classics student and an Oregon Trail buff, this is beyond cool. Ever wondered how long it would take to travel from Rome to Constantinople at the peak of the Roman Empire? Or from Luna to Larissa? Or Parma to Thessalonica? This map of the Roman World created at Stanford University is awesomely realistic […]

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The Tin Noses Shop

I think I’ve posted about Harold Gillies before, but his life’s work was so wonderful it bears repeating. Writing in the 1950s, Sir Harold Gillies, a pioneer in the art of facial reconstruction and modern plastic surgery, recalled his war service: “Unlike the student of today, who is weaned on small scar excisions and graduates […]

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I’d known about the recent development of lobster as “fancy food”, but this article had some surprises to it. I particularly love the idea of servants rebelling against thrice-a-week lobster dinners.  “More potatoes and cabbage, or else!” In North America, the American lobster did not achieve popularity until the mid-19th century, when New Yorkers and […]

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99% Invisible

A hard-to-impress friend posted about this blog the other day, so I knew it was had to be impressive.   Irregularly updated, but pretty fascinating.  I’ll have to check in on this one in the future. The Walled City gained a reputation as a sort of den of iniquity—there were high levels of prostitution, gambling, […]

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Reflections from a Secret Service Agent

The events of the moment (in gory detail, be warned) Kennedy was killed, as told by the Secret Serviceman who leapt onto the back of the limo after the shots were fired. In the clip — known as the “Zapruder film,” for Dallas dressmaker Abraham Zapruder, who shot the footage — a Secret Service agent is […]

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The Heidi Game

In this week of renewed Israel/Palestine tensions, it’s the anniversary of another ongoing religious struggle: Football fans vs. tween girls.  Too bad the Middle East doesn’t have a scapegoat in NBC, too. The Heidi game – YouTube.

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My memory of this stone is very vivid, despite last seeing it when I was 6 or 7 years old. I even remembered the name and the hand mirror carving. A few clicks from Google and I’m seeing it again for the first time in 30 years, courtesy this website documenting the Pictish stones. The […]

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