Musing of a Contemporary Pathologist
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Peter, Paul and Mary

Last week, my wife, Kate, and I went to hear a concert given by Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey. The night of February 17 was miserable because of a ferocious, record-breaking rainstorm and high winds. We started out for the 8:00 PM concert at 3:30 PM for three reasons: the terrible weather conditions, the fact that it was a Friday (which means horrendous late afternoon traffic in Los Angeles), and because it was...

Medical Trivia #2: Cyrano de Bergerac and microscopy

In 1897 the French poet and dramatist, Edmond Eugène Alexis Rostand (1868-1918) wrote what would be his most popular work, the romantic play Cyrano de Bergerac. Rostand was born in Marseille and his father was a renowned economist and poet. Rostand studied literature, philosophy and history at the Collège Stanislas in Paris. Initially devoted to writing comedies, in mid-career he wrote a number of serious plays,...

Trepanation – (or releasing demons)

  Trepanation, or trephining, may well represent the earliest wound inflicted by one human being on another for the purpose of healing and can be considered the beginning of the practice of surgery and the earliest tangible evidence of medical practice (1). In trepanation, a portion of the skull is removed. Some of the oldest examples of skulls showing trepanation defects, from Peru and other sites, demonstrate...