The eye has been called “the window to the soul” by people who have no idea how it works.

There were once a variety of theories on how we see:

Extramission: The theory that eyes emit a light, like the fire of the sun, onto objects they see, and then the image object is reflected back onto the water of eye.

Intromission: The theory that everything projects a smaller version of itself, with a smaller number of atoms, in all directions.  The eye catches this smaller image.

Intermission: The break in a long film, when your eyes get watery from looking at the screen in the dark for so long.

But now what causes vision more clearly, even if we don’t see objects in front of us as clearly as we used to. Continue reading “See?”

The real “Hippocratic” oath

Hippocrates may have worked at a temple of Asclepius.  He may have claimed direct descent from Asclepius.  Or, he may have just been a healer, as “Asclepiad” could have many meanings.

The only thing we know for sure is that Hippocrates became a legend.  The most reliable historical record that Hippocrates did in fact exist is the following conversation of Socrates and Phaedrus, as recorded by Plato: Continue reading “The real “Hippocratic” oath”

First aid: To be a primary responder with DR ABC

We all hear about primary responders in the news.   When help is needed, the first responders are those who help first.  They may be police officers, firefighters, in some cases soldiers, medical specialists, or even ordinary civilians who have some know how.

When you see someone who might be in need of first aid, one form of primary response is DR ABC. (There’s also the ABCDE response, intended for those with more knowledge.) Continue reading “First aid: To be a primary responder with DR ABC”

Scary first aid facts:

A blocked airway can kill you in only three minutes!

If you get a cut, better hope it’s on a vein, because if it’s an artery, and the blood comes out quickly, it only takes three minutes to bleed to death!

If you suffer a heart attack outside of a hospital, there is a 90 percent chance it will kill you.  However, your chances increase if you get CPR within two minutes (and if the ambulance arrives within eight.)

Only 41 percent of people in the UK have the confidence to even try to save your life!  Better hope the other 59% reach you within three minutes!

But scariest of all, if you’re like 80% of the population, you will need first aid sometime!

But what if you are among the 59% who are confident enough to try and help? Is your confidence enough to save a life? Continue reading “Scary first aid facts:”

“The New York Times is a joke” – claims “science and health” writer

Science news? A lot of stories seem to be just recycled press releases. Scholarship isn't all about what kind of hat you wear. and more about turtles, newspapers and scientists drinking sugar. On 5 March 2017, Alex Berezow wrote an infographic-based article, called “The Best And Worst Science News Sites” for the so-called “American Council on Science and Health.”

Berezow claims to hear the question “How do I know if a news story is fake?” a lot.  Well, I didn’t ask him.  Did you? Continue reading ““The New York Times is a joke” – claims “science and health” writer”

What did “fit for human habitation” mean?

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, Expedition 36 flight engineer, conducts an ocular health exam. – Nasa photograph.

Dr Woods Hutchinson, a doctor and health writer, once calmly said that New York should be torn down and rebuilt in a manner “fit for human habitation.”  According to the Columbus journal of Nebraska, he thought  “the money for this purpose should be secured by confiscating the fortunes of millionaires as fast as they die.”

Not that the Columbus journal agreed with Dr Hutchinson, or the people who “know nothing, do nothing, [and] cheer themselves hoarse with his suggestion.”

One wonders if Dr Hutchinson were merely joking, and others merely laughing along with him.  Then again, if you’ve ever been to certain parts of New York City, you might think he was being serious.

However, other stories show that people took the idea of dwellings being “fit for human habitation” very seriously.   When landlord-politicians object to building codes that require homes to be “fit for human habitation,” you wonder whether these landlord-politicians know their history. Continue reading “What did “fit for human habitation” mean?”

Bonaparte’s army could have grown taller, if they’d eaten more eggs

Napoleon Bonaparte sharing a globe shaped pudding with William Pit. Pit has the larger slice, but appears disinterested, while Bonaparte greedily carves out Europe.
This painting, “The Plum Pudding in Danger”, based on James Gilroy’s 1805 print, is not historically accurate. Bonaparte was not a big fan of desert.

(Disclaimer: Measurements are in centimetres, not because the British, French and Swiss have used different systems through time, but because centimetres are smaller than inches.)

Here’s a message I received in my email: “Napoleon Bonaparte might have grown taller had he eaten more… eggs!”  That’s right eggs.

The NHS, referencing the BBC, reports that “an egg a day may prevent stunted growth in infants.”   Continue reading “Bonaparte’s army could have grown taller, if they’d eaten more eggs”