Gee, how many of the millions disabled by leprosy do you think will attend England’s “Leper Festival”? This annual event takes place on January 29, World Leprosy Day, in Taddiport, Devon, a hamlet that was a leprosy colony in the Middle Ages. The festivities include a torchlit procession, a “Leper Ball,” and an “Ugly Pageant.” […]
Next time you find yourself transfixed by one of those indoor water walls, run away. It turns out that they can be giant bacteria incubators flinging droplets of toxins into the air. One such wall, intended to calm visitors at a Wisconsin hospital, infected dozens with Legionnaire’s Disease. Oops. “An Outbreak of Legionnaires Disease Associated […]
“Lutefisk is cod that has been dried in a lye solution. It looks like the dessicated cadavers of squirrels run over by trucks, but after it is soaked and reconstituted and the lye is washed out and it’s cooked, it looks more fish-related, though with lutefisk, the window of success is small. It can be […]
One of the best gifts I received this year was a flat of tomato seedlings from Arthur Allen, author of RIPE: The Search for the Perfect Tomato. After several years of tomato blight in our urban DC garden, my husband and I were excited to receive the plants in April from Art, who, let’s face […]
A few years ago my brother-in-law gave me a beautiful silk scarf in a wonderful abstract pattern. “Can you tell what it is?” he asked, a kid bursting with a riddle. “A scarf?” I replied. “No! It’s lipoprotein cells!” I examined the delicate array of gold and gray star bursts, and confessed that I would […]
A couple of recent medical news stories—about Bell’s palsy and misophonia–really struck home, and made me think how harshly people judge others, even members of their own family, because they don’t understand the medical condition underlying odd behavior. I’m not talking about mental illness, but rather little-understood physical conditions that can wreak daily havoc on […]
If you need a remote-controlled toilet that lights up, plays music, and warms your tush and feet, you’re spending entirely too much time on the can. I assume the couple in Kohler’s Numi video must be headed out for a big night in their dueling Cialis tubs.