The Case of the Bagel, the Bite, and the Ticking Clock

“A New, Occasional Instrument for Measuring Marital Quality: The Time Required to Make a Cream Cheese and Salmon Bagel Following Funnel-Web Spider Bite,” Gary Walter, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 171, nos. 11–12, December 6–20, 1999, pp. 674–5. [AIR 16:2] The author is a psychiatrist in Concord West, NSW, Australia. His firsthand account includes a […]

The “Holy Plane” of Rectal Surgery

“The ‘Holy Plane’ of Rectal Surgery,” R.J. Heald, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, vol. 81, September 1988, pp. 503–8. The author, at Basingstoke District Hospital, Basingstoke, U.K., explains [AIR 16:1]: this is the story of a simple artisan’s pleasure in the actual style of performing an operation—in essence the way to use a […]

Double-Edged Therapeutic Value of Karaoke

“Karaoke Therapy in the Rehabilitation of Mental Patients,” C.M. Leung, G. Lee, B. Cheung, E. Kwong, Y.K. Wing, C.S. Kan, and J. Lau, Singapore Medical Journal, vol. 39, no. 4, April 1998, pp. 166–8. The authors, at Prince of Wales Hospital, Chinese University of Hong Kong, conclude that [AIR 16:1]: “Karaoke therapy may be more […]

Karaoke-Related Pneumomediastinum

“Primary Spontaneous Pneumomediastinum” [article in Japanese], K. Togashi and Y. Hosaka, Kyobu Geka, vol. 60, no. 13, December 2007, pp. 1163–6. The authors, at Nagaoka Red Cross Hospital in Japan, explain [AIR 16:1]: “We report 5 cases of spontaneous pneumomediastinum [air in the space between the lungs]…. 1 patient had a karaoke-related condition. Primary spontaneous […]

The Roller-Coaster and the Lens

A cautionary tale for anyone who simultaneously uses intracoular lenses and a roller coaster: “Repositioning of a Dislocated Intraocular Lens During a Roller-Coaster Ride,” M.M. Bosch, K. Landau, and M.A. Thiel, New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 349, no. 11, September 11, 2003, pp. 1094–6. [AIR 15:5] The authors, at the University of Zurich, report: […]

The Curious Case of the Boyfriend and the Replacement Cat

“A Zoocentric Capgras Syndrome” [article in German], U. Ehrt, Psychiatrische Praxis, vol. 26, no. 1, January 1999, pp. 43–4. The authors, who are at Klinik und Poliklinik fur Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Halle/Saale, Germany, report that: “We present a case of a 23-year-old women who had the delusional belief that her cat had been replaced by […]

Chew, Chew, Chew, and Emaciate

“Severe Weight Loss Caused by Chewing Gum,” Juergen Bauditz, Kristina Norman, Henrik Biering, Herbert Lochs, and Matthias Pirlich, British Medical Journal, vol. 336,no. 96–7, 2008, DOI:10.1136/bmj. 39280.657350.BE. (Thanks to Erwin Kompanje for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Charite Universitatsmedizin in Berlin, Germany, report: Both our patients consumed large amounts of sorbitol, which […]

Blood, Fingers, and Genes

Researchers are delving into the blood, fingers, and genes of financial traders. Here are some of the studies that may give us insights into the success or failure of the traders, and of the researchers who study the financiers’ digits and chemical composition. Here, too, are a few earlier studies that probe the mysteries of […]