Podcast#21: Objects found in people’s rectums

“In subsequent years, as consumer confidence soared, so, too, did the purchasing of goods that would find their way into people’s rectums.” Hidden objects — of many kinds — turn up  in this week’s Improbable Research podcast. Click on the “Venetian blinds” icon — at the lower right corner here — to select whichever week’s episode you want […]

“The Osler Industry: Insightful History or Insipid Hagiography?”

Osler, Osler, Osler. What about Osler, all these years after he departed the scene? “The Osler Industry: Insightful History or Insipid Hagiography?” C.S. Bryan and R.L. Golden, Journal of Medical Biography, 2007;15 Suppl 1:2-5. The authors explain: “The life and legacy of Sir William Osler (1849-1919) have been celebrated by nearly 1900 articles, 10 special […]

Tintin’s health traumas, analyzed

Here’s a new medical analysis of the health of a comics character, following in the tradition of the 2004 study “Acquired Growth Hormone Deficiency and Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism in a Subject With Repeated Head Trauma, or Tintin Goes to the Neurologist“: “Tintin’s travel traumas: Health issues affecting the intrepid globetrotter” Les problèmes de santé de Tintin : plus […]

Flaccid Mechanics: From Penis-Size Statistics to Penis-Size Physics

As recently discussed in this blog and elsewhere, a team of UK researchers have published a new study with the scintillating title of Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15521 men. The first sentence of the paper’s introduction sums things […]

Acute effects of a deep-fried Mars bar on brain vasculature

Scotland’s purported tolerance for fried candy bars inspired this new medical study: “A randomised crossover trial of the acute effects of a deep-fried Mars bar or porridge on the cerebral vasculature,” William G. Dunn, and Matthew R. Walters, Scottish Medical Journal, epub 2014. The authors, at the BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre and the University of […]

Turgid and Obscure Language, from Roger Bolas

Turgid and obscure language impinges on the realm of medical ethics, apparently: “Turgid and Obscure Language,” Roger Bolas, Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 2, 1976, p 151. The author writes: SIR, My reactions on reading ‘obverted contrapositive’ and ‘presuppositionless characterization’ (page 103, volume 2, number 2), were to sigh deeply and to reach for the […]

Comparative ‘iffiness’ of medical research articles

If one could know for sure how iffy things are for English-speaking doctors compared to how iffy things are for French-speaking doctors, one might reach the same conclusions as are reached in this study: “The ‘iffiness’ of medical research articles —A comparison of English if and French si,” Shirley Carter-Thomas [pictured here], in Language and […]

And no more with the hearty handshakes, they suggest

While some researchers urge the public, especially children, to come in more contact with common dirt — and thus presumably boost their immune systems by exercising them against a wide range of threatening thisandthat — other researchers point adults towards the opposite direction. At present, it seems unlikely that these two research camps will soon join hands. […]