Thursday, February 22, 2007

Anomalies and Curiosities!

* Kathie, Brandt, Colin and SAS popped on over for dinner the other night along with a couple of frisbee acquaintances who managed to not run away screaming from our ** conversation. An added bonus to the charming evening was the book (pictured at left) that Kathie and Brandt decided to give me as part of a belated birthday treasure trove of goodness.

Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine (George M. Gould, M.D. and Walter L. Pyle, M.D.) was written in 1896 and contains a wonderful smorgasbord of information ranging from "monstrosities", "colored saliva", "men suckling infants" and "the odor of insanity" to "perverted appetites", "spontaneous combustion of the human body", "death from joy and laughter", "the dancing mania", and "presentiment of approaching death".

A few notable excerpts:

"One of the most remarkable forms of idiosyncracy on record is that of a student who was deprived of his senses by the very sight of an old woman. On one occasion he was carried out from a party in a dying state, caused, presumably, by the abhorred aspect of the chaperones."

"Another curious fact associated with pregnancy is the apparent influence of the emotions of the mother on the child in utero. Everyone knows of the popular explanation of many birth-marks, their supposed resemblance to some animal or object seen by the mother during pregnancy, etc. ....Plot speaks of a child bearing the figure of a mouse; when pregnant, the mother had been much frightened by one of these animals... The Lancet speaks of several cases-- one of a child with a face resembling a dog whose mother had been bitten.... "

"Bijoux speaks of a porter or garcon at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris who was a prodigious glutton. He had eaten the body of a lion that had died of disease at the menagerie. He ate with the avidity the most disgusting things to satiate his depraved appetite. He showed further signs of a perverted mind by classifying the animals of the menagerie according to the form of their excrement, of which he had a collection. He died of indigestion following a meal of eight pounds of hot bread."

below are some sample illustrations

* for those who are interested, she is having a solo show in Las Vegas at the beginning of March

** you can see affordable prints of some of their work at CircusPosterus

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Blogger Cap'n Rich said...

I couldn't leave a comment where the others did. Maybe it's my fault afterall.

That bearded lady looks like a man dressed up.

I think they made a lot of the book up. I sure hope so.

Have a pleasant day :)

1:28 AM  
Blogger L said...

I think I will return to just having blogger commenting and remove the haloscan -- this will be fixed in a couple of days :)

10:06 PM  

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