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Thursday, March 2, 2023

W. E. B. Du Bois’s hand-drawn infographics describing black life In 1900

Via Flashbak:

In 1900 civil rights activist, author and intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois (wiki) presented a series of 58 hand-drawn infographics for The Exhibit of American Negroes exhibition at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. Curated by Du Bois, Booker T. Washington and Thomas J. Calloway, the visualized statistics would become objects of knowledge and reveal the state of black life in the United States.

Many of the statistics are from the state of Georgia, which had the largest black population at the time. Others are from the U.S as a whole (as it was configured at that time):

More at Flashbak, which has links to much more.

Friday, February 17, 2023

How to blow a cow

If you're easily grossed out, go away. Now.

Cow blowing, per Wikipedia:
Kuhblasen, phooka, or doom dev, is a process used in many countries according to ethnographers, in which forceful blowing of air into a cow's vagina (or sometimes anus) is applied to induce her to produce more milk.
Cow blowing was the reason why Gandhi abjured cow milk, saying that "since I had come to know that the cow and the buffalo were subjected to the process of phooka, I had conceived a strong disgust for milk."
There is, of course, a video that shows how it's done - for those with delicate sensibilities (and if this is true of you, what the hell are you doing here?) it's below the break.

Previously in the "disgusting things having to do with cattle" department, there's this: 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Toys from the past - Radioactive Atomic Energy Lab Kit with Uranium (1950)

Radioactive Atomic Energy Lab Kit with Uranium (1950)

The set came with four types of uranium ore, a beta-alpha source, a pure beta source, a gamma source, a spinthariscope, a cloud chamber, an electroscope, a geiger counter, and a manual. The set also came with a comic book featuring Dagwood from the popular Blondie comic strip. It was titled "Learn How Dagwood Splits the Atom" and written in conjunction with General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project.

Here's an Atlas Obscura video with more:

Thursday, February 2, 2023


Study Result


1. Stable postoperative changes of the stomach and bowel without evidence of obstruction.
2. Hepatic lesions appear slightly increased in size and are again concerning for metastatic disease.
3. Interval decreased ascites and resolved pneumoperitoneum. Resolved bilateral pleural effusions.
4. Mild wall thickening of the bladder with punctate foci of intraluminal gas may reflect recent instrumentation versus cystitis.
5. Mild ascending aortic aneurysm measuring 4.1 cm.

Images and interpretation personally reviewed by: Sudeep Soni, MD



INDICATION: Primary colon cancer, also with history of renal cell and prostate cancer.

TECHNIQUE: CT of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis with intravenous contrast was performed. Multiplanar reconstructions were performed.

COMPARISON: CT abdomen and pelvis 9/10/2022, CT chest abdomen pelvis 8/31/2022


Lung/Airways: Central airways are patent. No consolidation. No suspicious lung nodule.

Pleura: No pleural effusion or pneumothorax.

Thyroid: Stable subcentimeter right thyroid nodule.

Mediastinum: No mediastinal mass. Esophagus is normal.

Lymph nodes: No thoracic adenopathy.

Heart: Heart size is normal. Coronary artery calcifications. No pericardial effusion.

Vasculature: Mildly dilated ascending thoracic aorta measuring 4.1 cm, previously 3.9 cm. Normal caliber pulmonary trunk. Right IJ chest port with catheter tip at the superior cavoatrial junction.

Subcutaneous Tissues/Chest Wall: No concerning soft tissue mass.

Liver: Redemonstrated multiple hepatic lesions. Reference posterior right hepatic lobe lesion measures 2.5 x 2.9 cm (2/92), previously 2.7 x 2.2 cm. Segment 8 lesion measures 1.8 x 1.7 cm (2/89), previously 1.7 x 1.4 cm.
Hepatic vein(s): Patent.
Portal vein(s): Patent.

Gallbladder/Bile Ducts: Cholelithiasis with nonspecific pericholecystic fluid and setting of ascites. No biliary ductal dilatation.

Spleen: Normal size.

Pancreas: No pancreatic mass or pancreatitis. Pancreatic duct normal in caliber.

Adrenal Glands: No adrenal nodule.

Kidneys: Stable small renal hypodensities. No hydronephrosis or nephrolithiasis.

Bowel: Stable postoperative changes of the stomach and bowel without evidence of obstruction. Redemonstrated fluid-filled bowel loops with air-fluid levels.

Peritoneum/Retroperitoneum: Interval decreased ascites. Previously seen pneumoperitoneum has resolved.

Lymph Nodes: No abdominal adenopathy.

Vasculature: Normal caliber abdominal aorta and iliac arteries. Mild scattered atherosclerotic disease.

Reproductive Organs: Status post prostatectomy.

Bladder: Mild circumferential wall thickening with foci of intraluminal gas.

Lymph Nodes: No pelvic lymphadenopathy.

Vasculature: Unremarkable.

Subcutaneous Tissues/Abdominal Wall: No hernia.

SKELETAL STRUCTURES: No acute fracture or suspicious osseous lesion. Partially imaged left hip arthroplasty. Bilateral glenohumeral osteoarthritis, right greater than left.

Component Results

There is no component information for this result.

General Information

Ordered by Shruti Murali

Collected on 01/27/2023 9:08 AM

Resulted on 01/27/2023 9:42 AM

Result Status: Final result

This result was released automatically. You may be seeing it before your provider has seen it.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Prohibition in the United States began on January 16, 1920 and ended on December 5, 1933

The precursor to the "war on drugs":

Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. 

H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) (A Book of Burlesques, "Sententiae") 

Abstainer, n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially inactivity in the affairs of others. 

~ Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) (The Devil's Dictionary

Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded. 

~ Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) (speech, 18 December 1840 to the U.S. House of Representatives) 

The prohibition law, written for weaklings and derelicts, has divided the nation, like Gaul, into three parts - wets, drys, and hypocrites. 

~ Florence Sabin (1871-1953) (speech, 9 December 1931) 

Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.

W. C. Fields (1880-1946) (attributed) 

Prohibition (wiki) began on January 16, 1920, which was the effective date of the 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution: it was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcoholic beverages in the United States. An outgrowth of the temperance movement, which had been gathering momentum during the entire 19th century, Prohibition got a final impetus from World War I, which prompted the Congress to pass the 18th amendment in December 1917.* Ratification (by 36 of the 48 states) came on 16 January 1919, and the Volstead Act implemented the measure a year later.** 

Prohibition - highly unpopular - was only weakly enforced by the federal government, and thousands of "speakeasies" - many controlled by organized crime - quickly appeared to satisfy the nation's thirst. The illegal importation and distribution of booze soon became a major source of income for "the Mob" and led to the infamous gang wars of the late 1920s and early 1930s. 

Several states had banned alcohol prior to the federal ban, and in Illinois there was an organized attempt by a group of women to use telepathy to influence the outcome of local votes: the Temperance Thinkers mobilized some 500,000 women to dress all in white and to direct thought waves at voters. “Women arrayed in white will assemble at the polls,” described one paper, “and by concentrated mental effort endeavor to influence the men."

On December 5th, 1933, prohibition in the United States of America came to an end with the ratification of the 21st Amendment***. After 13 years, the country's attempt to ban the booze had ended.

The video below shows a newsreel from the time, documenting the 'happy news for the grain raisers of the United States and for many others throughout the land'. I like this quote: "The problems with legislating morality soon became abundantly clear":

* N.B. To save grain for the war effort, a temporary prohibition measure was enacted just after the Armistice and went into force in July 1919. More over, the discrediting by the war of the large German-American community, strong objectors to Prohibition, diminished the opposition. Similarly, it has also been claimed that the absence of a large proportion of American men - serving in France - had a significant effect. 

** Named for Minnesota representative Andrew Volstead (1860-1947), the act defined the alcoholic products affected, stated enforcement procedures, and set out the penalties for violation. It was passed over President Wilson's veto.

In the 21st Amendment Congress gave individual states the right to regulate alcohol as they saw fit, a move that created a dazzling array of confusing alcohol control laws under seemingly arbitrary regulatory agencies.

"I do not think the state has any more right to tell me what to put in my mouth than it has to tell me what can come out of my mouth. Those two are essentially the same thing, and they are both essential elements of freedom."

My maternal grandmother was the president of the Poughkeepsie, NY chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) - there were 4 members and they met monthly (or thereabouts). Her four sons tried many times over her life to sneak a few drops of something into her lemonade or iced tea, but as far as I know they never succeeded and she went to her grave never having had alcohol pass her lips.


Winston Churchill's Doctor's Note Allowing Him to Drink "Unlimited" Alcohol in Prohibition America.

1860s series of photos illustrating the '5 stages of inebriation'.