See Naples and Die 12 – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-XXI

Welcome Back to ask yourself the loaded question “Who /
What am I?”!

As I said at the end of the last page, The highly
materialistic / science minded / “Modern” amongst you
and in the words of the Pioneer Psychologists of yore,
Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung) the highly egoistic
/”Id”d / “Ego”istic / “Super Ego”istic amongst you may
off-hand rattle off “I am “X” the Biggest / Strongest /
Greatest / ever!”!

But even as you are saying it, I can hear some of the
since-extinct animals, which were much bigger than us -
the on-an-average 5’6″ tall modern humans – mutter and
groan in their graves / fossils “What about us?”!

Yes! The largest extinct terrestrial (land-dwelling)
animals like dinosaurs, mastodons, mammoths etc.,
and the largest extinct marine (sea-dwelling) animals,
(which actually started off as small,land-dwelling
mammals) like Liopleurodon and Basilosaurus.

The tallest of the dinosurs, Sauroposeidon, which
lived 245 to 146 million years ago and perished in the
Great K-T mass extinction, stood 18 meters (59 ft) tall
and could have reached, from the ground, a sixth floor
window of a multi-storey building of today!

The mastodons (Greek: μαστός “breast” and ὀδούς, “tooth”)
are an extinct group of mammal species related to elephants,
that diverged approximately 27 million years ago, inhabited
North and Central America during the late Miocene or late
Pliocene up to their extinction at the end of the Pleistocene
10,000 to 11,000 years ago. The exceptionally large amongst
the male mastodons may have reached heights in the region of
4 m (13 ft) at the shoulder and exceeded 12 tonnes (13 short
tons).

The mammoths, of the extinct genus Mammuthus, lived from the
Pliocene epoch (from around 5 million years ago) into the
Holocene at about 4,500 years ago. The largest known mammoths
reached heights in the region of 4 m (13 ft) at the shoulder
and weights may have exceeded 12 tonnes (13 short tons).

Liopleurodon, which was one of the largest carnivores to live
on this Earth,lived from about 165 to 150 million years ago
in the Late Jurassic period.It was a 16-25m long predator
with a 3 metre long jaw and 4 metre long head  and weighed
150 tonnes.

Basilosaurus (“king lizard”) (initially believed to be some
sort of reptile, hence the suffix -“saurus”, but it was later
found to be a marine mammal) was a genus of early whale
that lived 40 to 34 million years ago in the Late Eocene.
Measuring “no less” than 80–100 ft (24–30 m) long, and
weighing 50-75 tons, Basilosaurus cetoides was the largest
Eocene animal.

But even as we are recalling, in awe, with tears in our eyes
and sobbing too, the old sad memories of the gigantic but
extinct (mostly, at least in recent times, due to human
errors!) animals listed above, can you hear another massive
group of existing / continuing / living plants and animals
rustling / clicking / singing / howling / roaring / trumpetting
(heard of “bioacoustics”?) and so clamouring for our attention -
the largest living plant, giant sequoia; the largest living
marine animal,the blue whale and the largest living land
animal, the African bush elephant?

That will be the story for another day, Okay??!!

So long, Sayonara, then!

See Naples and Die 12 – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-XX

Long time No See, eh! Come, jump on to my
magic flying carpet – PHFA (Hehe! haahaa!
Positive Health For All!) to see more of
“But we live and learn, don’t we?” as I
had said in the middle of the previous page.

Why not start with a searching question for you
to answer? “Who / What are you?”.

Ok! You don’t like me asking you the question? You
don’t let others grab centre-stage / hog the
limelight in your premises?

(I am reminded of the great Comedy – Dance – Song
in the Hindi Movie Laawaris (1981) with music by
Kalyanji-Anandji and sung with Alka Yagnik by the
Big B – Amitabh Bachan – the  “Angry Young Man”
in the 1975-84 (Remember the TV Serial “An Angry Young
Man” (1960)- one Man Industry in Bollywood
(Mumbai / Bombay Moviedom) – (At any given time of
day, over one lakh people were watching him – a
tall, lanky, slightly gawky figure sing, dance
and especially fight on the screen. Every year,
approximately four crore people used to crowd the
cinemas to watch him battle the forces of evil,
and it had been estimated that one in every six
Indians had seen one of his films. Each time he
left his elegant house in Bombay’s Juhu-Ville Parle
scheme, investments worth Rs.50 crore used to ride
on him. So much in demand was he – the dark, taciturn
star that the hordes of eager producers who used to
queue up outside his dressing rooms were told that
they cannot expect shooting dates within the next
ten years! And yet, the offers used to keep on coming!!
As French producers Alain Chamas who tried
unsuccessfully to sign him for Crossings opposite
Jon Voight and Richard Dreyfus finally remarked in
sheer exasperation: “This man is not just a star!
Amitabh Bachchan is an industry!!” – an One Man Industry!)
– with lyrics starting and repeated often as Pallavi (the
Carnatic Music equivalent of the thematic / punch line of
a song – heard of Rāgam Thānam Pallavi?) running as
“Maerae Anganae Mein Tumhaaraa Kyaa Kaam Hai?” (Translated
as “What the heck are you doing in my porch?”)!

OK! OK!! I agree!!! You ask yourself, “Who / What am I?”.

Very deep, searching question, eh?!

I can visualise / hear the question setting the memory
registers in your Brain ringing in a frenzy to fetch
you the “Best Answer”s (as they say in Yahoo Answers /
Ask.com Questions / Answers.com pages)!

Relax and ponder deeply! Select the Best answer (as they
say in Yahoo Answers, Answers.com, Ask.com etc.,)!

I. The highly religious and spiritually oriented amongst
you may just find, in the depths of your brain’s memory
the Indian Hindu Philosophical answers like 1.“Tat Tvam Asi”
(meaning Thou art that Brahman)by the Great Hindu Saint
and highly revered proponent of the widely followed Advaita
Philosophy, Adi Sankara and 2. “Aham Brahma Asmi” (I am
that Brahman) from the Mahavakya (meaning Great Sentence)
in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10. of Yajur Veda – the
second of the four Vedas created by Hindu God Brahma, the
Hindu God of Creation. The four Hindu Vedas are:
1. The Rigveda, containing hymns to be recited by the hotar,
or presiding priest;
2. The Yajurveda, containing formulas to be recited by the
adhvaryu or officiating priest;
3. The Samaveda, containing formulas to be sung by the udgatar
or priest that chants and
4. The Atharvaveda, a collection of spells and incantations,
apotropaic charms and speculative hymns.

II. The highly materialistic / science minded / “Modern”
amongst you may off-hand rattle off  “…….  “.

That will be a story for another day!

So long then, until we meet again!!

See Naples and Die 12 – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-XVIII

Long time No See, eh! Come, jump on to my
magic flying carpet – PHFA (Hehe! haahaa!
Positive Health For All!) to see more of
Inanimates, Living Beings, Mankind, Magellan,

Columbus, Languages etc.

As I noted in a previous page,”While the non-living,
inanimate objects like soil, stones and rocks
silently took the thrashing by the rain and
rivers coming from the clouds and glaciers –
both generic clouds anyway – the living beings
on earth, from the minute bacteria to the
mighty mankind evolving through gigantic
dinosaurs etc., fared differently”.

Thence I started discussing the living beings
from the minute bacteria but some intermediate
beings between the non-living, inanimate objects
on earth mentioned in the previous paragraph and
the ubiquitous and fairly well-known bacteria,
the so-far lowest forms of living beings on
earth also deserve our attention.

As per our knowledge till recently, Prions were
considered to be the lowest form of (invasive,
destructive, pathogenic and often fatal)
inclusion bodies inside living cells.

But we live and learn, don’t we?

Starting from from the days of mankind groping, at
night, in the dark through the stone age man inventing
the technique of making fire from flint and pyrite,
softwood and hardwood etc., to light the nights also
through maritime (using just sail boats braving the
dangerous Oceans like the Atlantic and the Pacific
and facing nature’s furies like whirlpools and tsunamis
(giant waves) in the waters below and tornadoes,
cyclones and storms in the air around and above them)
explorers like Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521 A.D.)
who, for the very first time in human history,
circumnavigated (went around) the earth and Christopher
Columbus (1451-1506 A.D.) who first found the
New World (which was actually the present West
Indies though he called it, by mistake, “India”)
upto and even after Stanley B.Prusiner of Prions-fame,
mankind, blessed as it is with the versatile five
senses ((Vision, Hearing, Touch, Taste and Smell
(the last less in humans than in some lower
animals!)), powerful peripherals for locomotion
(like the lower limbs – legs) and prehension
(the upper limbs – arms and hands) and the
Super-Super-Super Computer – the Brain inside its
head (endowed with a Super-Processing capacity,
strong memory, reasoning and analytical powers
and imagination and intuition and hence “creativity”)

to the latest days of  man landing a rover craft,

Curiosity, through outer space on the Mars to

send us pictures of Mars’  ladscape, especially

to locate on Mars the life-sustaining water,
which is vital for human  and any life survival,
to explore the exciting possibility of mankind
migrating from earth and populating Mars and

so ease the life-threatening congestion on

mankind’s present locale, the earth!

More to follow! Sayonara for just now!

Come again! “Reviens!”, as the French say!
“Kommen Sie wieder!” as the Germans say! “Venire di
nuovo!” as the Italians say! “Veni din nou!” as the
Romanians say! “Komme igen!” as the Denmarkers /
Dutch / Danish / Hollanders / Netherlanders say!
“έρχονται και πάλι!” (these Unicode characters may
not show up correctly inside WordPress Editor! They
showed up correctly inside Windows Notepad Editor!)
as the Greeks say! “Komme igjen!” as the Norwegians
say! “Komma igen!” as the Swedish say! “Vamos de
nuevo!” as the Spanish say! “возвращаться!” (these
Unicode characters may not show up correctly inside
WordPress Editor! They showed up correctly inside
Windows Notepad Editor!) as the Russians say!
“يأتي مرة أخرى “(these Unicode characters may not show up
correctly inside WordPress Editor! They showed up
correctly inside Windows Notepad Editor!) as the
Arabs say! “फिर से आओ!” (these Unicode characters may
not show up correctly inside WordPress Editor!
They showed up correctly inside Windows Notepad
Editor!) as (North) Indians speaking Hindi say!
“Òe‡´‹ õ¼è!Ó” “(these Unicode characters may not
show up correctly inside WordPress Editor! They
did not show up correctly inside Windows Notepad
Editor too!) as we Tamils / Tamilians, speaking
Tamil (an ancient but still, unlike the North
Indian Sanskrit, truly current language, as old
as Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Sanskrit and also
held as the “mother” of the other three South
Indian languages – Telugu spoken in the South
Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (split recently
into Seemandhra and Telangana), Kannada /
Canarese spoken in the South Indian state of
Karnataka) and Malayalam spoken in the South
Indian state of Kerala) and living mostly
in Tamil Nadu, South India (also settled in
other parts of India as well as other near and
far countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar
(formerly known as Burma), U.K., U.S.A., etc)
say! AND “また来る!” (these Unicode characters may
not show up correctly inside WordPress Editor!
They showed up correctly inside Windows Notepad
Editor!) as the Japanese say!!!!

See Naples and Die 12 – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-XVIII

Welcome back to my magic flying carpet -
PHFA (He..he! haa..haa! Positive Health For All!)
to see more of prions, viroids, viruses, bacteria etc.,
in ascending order of size.

Before diving deeper into the study of OUR prions,
a note of disambiguation.

The word “Prion” may mean different things to
different people depending on their calling /
profession / interests.

An Ornithologist / Bird Expert / bird watcher / birder
(a subset of zoologists studying birds) will think
of the Prions in Ornithology lingo – the whalebirds
which are small petrels in the genera Pachyptila
and Halobaena. They form one of the four groups
within the Procellariidae (also referred to as the
prions), along with the gadfly petrels, shearwaters
and fulmarine petrels. They are found in the
Southern Ocean and breed on a number of
subantarctic islands. Prion Birds grow 20–27 cm
(7.9–11 in) long, and have blue-grey upper parts
and white underparts. Three species of prion
birds have flattened bills with a fringe of lamellae
that act as strainers for zooplankton. All prion
birds are marine and feed on small crustacea
such as copepods, ostracods, decapods, and
krill as well as some fish such as myctophids
and nototheniids. So ornithologists have been
using the name Prion for a long long time -
decades, nay centuries, long, long before the
Prions, the subjects of this page, came to be
noticed and named Prions in 1982!

A Google search for “Prion” also yielded results
about an industrial group PRION GmbH PLM & IT
Solutions of Germany providing engineering /
industrial software solutions. GOK why the
company chose this special name! Look them up
if you need their services.

A footwear company called ThirtyTwo selling Boots,
Outerwear and Apparel for men calls a stylish model
of their boots “Prion”, GKW!

Prions, which are the subject of this page, got their
novel name in 1982 from Nobel Laureate,
Prof.Stanley Benjamin Prusiner, an American
neurologist and biochemist, currently the
Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative
Diseases at University of California, San Francisco
(UCSF). Prusiner derived the name Prion, for his
newly – found pathogenic (disease – producing / Killer
/ Rogue) proteins, coined from the words protein and
infection – From (a reordering of) the initial letters of
proteinaceous infectious particle – Prions short for
“proteinaceous infectious particles (-ions – a suffix
that occurs in virion etc.,)”. A prion is an infectious
agent that is composed primarily of a single protein
(albeit modified / misfolded protein PrP (Prion Protein)) -
almost similar to the normal (folded) proteins
normally occurring in all living beings but devoid of
nucleic acids like DNA and RNA which carry genetic
information and are essential for replication /
multiplication / reproduction and hence are present
in higher pathogens like viruses and bacteria and
all living beings oncluding humans.

But Prions, though not living and not capable of
spontaneous reproduction, are still easily transmissible
particles causing fatal diseases.

Now that you know the chemistry of Prions, let us see
some of their physical characteristics – their size,
their susceptibility or resistance to isolation and
destruction, and physio – pathological characteristics
of destructivity / pathogenicity / morbidity / killer
instincts.

Prions are tiny, miniscule particles measuring in the
nanometer range – Prions measure 10 nm while the
recently synthesised Miniprions measure 5- to 10-nm;
the only known particle smaller than MiniPrions is
DNA which measures 2 nm(diameter of a single strand).
proteins measure 5 – 50 nm; ribosome neasures 25 nm;
viruses measure 20 – 100 nm; mitochondria measure
1µm diameter x 2 µm length; bacteria measure 1 – 5 µm;
human cells measure 10 – 100 µm.

No wonder, Prions and MiniPrions can be seen only
with electron microscope (Negative-stain) and electron
crystallography and may need nuclear magnetic
resonance spectroscopy for characterisation.

Prions and MiniPrions are insoluble in known / common
solvents and hence defy extraction.

Prions and MiniPrions defied isolation by the less
sophisticated ultracentrifugation and ultrafiltration
devices passing through 0.1 µm filters (2.2 µm filters
remove bacteria) available in the years of Prion
discovery. The more recent tangential filtration
devices (like Ultrasette, Filtron, Northborough, MA)
used in a continuous mode and ultracentrifugation
devices like Beckman Optima L80 ultracentrifuge
(Beckman Coulter Inc., Fullerton, CA) have made
present researchers’ work a lot easier.

Can Prions be destroyed by any method available?
You cannot kill what is not live! Prion are not live
and hence defy killing! Prions cannot be destroyed
by boiling, alcohol, acid, standard autoclaving
methods, or radiation (UV and X – ray included).
In fact, infected brains that have been sitting in
formaldehyde for decades can still transmit Prion -
caused spongiform disease. Cooking your burger
’til it’s well done won’t destroy the prions! Prions are
extremely resistant to heat and to normal
sterilization processes. Prions do not evoke a
detectable immune response or inflammatory
(Heat / fire) reaction in host animals. For the same
reason that cells can not destroy prion protein , prions
are very heat resistant. Some loss of infectivity is said to
occur at temperatures above 100°C. But 30 to 60
minutes at more than 130°C is needed for inactivation,
although autoclaving at 134°C to 138°C for 60 minutes
does not result in complete inactivation. Prions remain
infective after sterilizing levels of radiation, formalin
exposure, extremes of pH, non-polar organic solvents,
burying for years and even cremation at 343°C
or 360°C. Prions infectivity is destroyed by 1M NaOH
@ 55°C or chlorine bleach @ 20,000 ppm (household
bleach is 50,000 ppm). Exposure for two hours to a
sodium dichloroisocyanurate solution (16,000 ppm
of available chlorine) did not completely deactivate
prions’ infectiveness. Homogenates of Prion -BSE -
infected bovine brain and rodent brain infected
with prion – scrapie – agent and exposed to 2M sodium
hydroxide for two hours did not inactivate the prion
agents. High – infectivity hamster – adapted prion
disease – scrapie is extremely resistant to heat,
chemicals, and processing!

So for all practical purposes, at least as on date,
Prions are indestructible!

Indestructible as prions are, they are highly,
terribly destructive to all living beings!

More on that at a later page!

So long! Sleep well! Let there be no nightmares of
prions killing you!

See Naples and Die 11 – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-XVII

Welcome back to know more about microbes – viruses,
bacteria etc.,!

Hey! Wait! Here comes the most frightening, dreadful,
doomsday-sooth-saying (the end of the world this
December of 2012 – Mayan Calendaric) part of my
extracts on disease-producing / pathogenic agents
including micro-organisms / microbes!

Fasten your seat belts! Steady your hearts! The faint-hearted
and weak-minded amongst you do please skip these paras!

The next few paragraphs concern another large group of
deadly disase – causing agents / pathogens, too small to be
called viruses, though grouped with viroids (causing mostly
plant diseases and only one human disease, Hepatitis – D)
as “sub-viral particles” and hence called by a special name,
“Prions”, coined in 1982 by Stanley B. Prusiner, ((from
(a reordering of) the initial letters of “Proteinaceous
Infectious particle”, indicating that they are composed
primarily of protein only and no nucleic acid – RNA / DNA
essential for duplication / reproduction)) initially, like many
good things in the past, received with derision from
Prusiner’s contemporaries / rivals who tried their best ,
albeit unsuccessfuly,for nearly 13 years, to kill Prusiner’s
concept of prions, which are themselves deadly killers of
mankind, other animals and plants and organisms and,
what is more, are ubiquitous / omnipresent / omnivalent /
and almost ever-lasting, albeit invisibly, around us and
cannot be got rid of by any composting / germicide /
sterilisation etc., currently available / known to mankind!

The history of Prions dates back to the important (negative)
discovery in 1960s, by the South-African born (lady) physicist
and radiobiologist, Tikvah Alper(1909-95), working in the UK
and the famous English mathematician John Stanley Griffith
(1928- 1972) (nephew of Pneumococcus – Pabulum fame
Fred Griffith / Frederick Griffith (c. 1879–1941) that the
infective agent in scrapie ((“Scraping / Scratching Disease”),
known since the 18th century (1732) as a fatal, degenerative
disease that affects the nervous systems of sheep and goats
as one of several transmissible spongiform encephalopathies
(TSEs), which are related to bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE or “mad cow disease” which swept
and took more than 200 human lives in Europe and America
eventually tracked down to eating food contaminated with
the brain, spinal cord or digestive tract of infected cattle
carcasses / infected beef / high-risk offal from infected cows
and could be controlled only by ruthlessly slaughtering,
during the massive eradication program in 1989, to save
mankind from total annihilation by the measly prion, as many
as 4.4 million infected cattle) and chronic wasting disease
of deer, wherein affected animals will compulsively scrape
off their fleeces against rocks, trees or fences as the
disease apparently causes an itching sensation in the
animals)) could not be a virus or other eukaryotic structure
but was indeed an infectious agent consisting solely of
proteins (No DNA / RNA!), in a misfolded form, which could
mimic viral and bacterial pathogens with respect to the
transmission of some incurable and rapidly and surely fatal
nervous system diseases and made it clear that proteins
can also serve as genetic elements just like the Nucleic
Acids, DNA and RNA, do.

As a staunch lover of ancient (not recent! – recent are trash!)
Hindi movie songs, I am reminded, by the tiny, weeny, measly
prions trying to annihilate the mighty mankind, of the
pulsating scenario of the Hindi song, “Nirbhal Se Ladaayee
Balwaan Ki ((the winning fight of the meek (Boy David, with
a mere catapult and tiny pebbles to throw with it) against
the mighty (Giant / Goliath wielding massive clubs and what
not))” in the 1956 Hindi movie, “Toofan Aur Diya (Storm
and Lamp)” of how a tiny little oil-wick hand lamp like a
candle (“Diya” in Hindi) fought, stood against and stopped
a mighty cyclonic storm (“Toofaan” in Hindi)! Sing along
with the nectar-like sweet voice of Manna (whose
Birth-name was Prabodh Chandra but a later-given
symbolic name “Manna”=Nectar) Dey (Family name)
under the great Hindi Music Director, Vasant Desai,
“Nirbhal Se Ladaayee Balwaan Ki!
Yeh Kahani Hai Diye Ki Aur Toofan Ki !”!

The singing will definitely lighten your mind frightened
by the above facts about the killer prions vs us – mankind!

More on prions, viruses etc., in the pages to follow!

So long then! Sayonaaraa, as the Japanese wish off!

See Naples and Die 10 – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-XVI

Welcome back to know more about viruses!

Unknown and unseen (Seeing is Believing!) before
the eras of virology and electron microscopy,
viruses, billions of which can fit inside the eye of a
needle, are the oldest on Earth, roamed the Earth
— in their own microscopic way — hundreds of
millions of years before the mighty dinosaurs
(the longest complete dinosaur was 58 meters
(190 ft) long, 12 meters (39 ft) tall and weighed
over 120000 kg (260000 lb)), have been and
continue to be ubiquitous and omnipresent in all
parts of the biosphere where there is liquid water,
including soil, hot springs, on the ocean floor, high
in the atmosphere and deep inside rocks within the
Earth’s crust. They have survived the calamitous
extinction events hitting the earth like huge Asteroid
Hits, Mighty Cyclones / hurricanes and furious floods
like the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event,
which occurred approximately 65 million years ago
at the end of the Cretaceous period, caused the
extinction of all dinosaur groups except for the tiny
neornithine birds.Viruses even survive in extreme
places like near deep-sea vents.

We, humans, are composed of about 10 trillion
‘human’ cells. There are more than 1000 trillion
viruses on the surface of and inside our bodies.
There are more than 100 trillion bacteria on the
surface of and inside our bodies.

Most microbes do not cause disease (pathogenic) -
less than 5% are pathogens; most of them are
harmless commensals (peaceful co – existers); many
are even helpful to hosts like us and our environment.
Microbes generate at least half the oxygen we
breathe. Micro – organisms are vital to humans and the
environment, as they participate in the Earth’s
element cycles such as the carbon cycle and
nitrogen cycle, as well as fulfilling other vital roles
in virtually all ecosystems, such as recycling other
organisms’ dead remains and waste products
through decomposition. Microbes also have an
important place in most higher-order multicellular
organisms as symbionts. Many blame the failure
of Biosphere 2 on an improper balance of microbes.

Micro – organisms are used in brewing, winemaking,
baking, pickling and other food – making processes.
They are also used to control the fermentation
process in the production of cultured dairy products
such as yogurt and cheese. The cultures also
provide flavour and aroma, and inhibit undesirable
organisms.

More on viruses and microbes in the next page!

See Naples and Die 9 – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-XV

Welcome back to know more about viruses!

Viruses only have a core genome consisting of
a single kind of nucleic acid (RNA or DNA)
contained within a protein shell / coat called the
capsid made of protein subunits called capsomeres
which is in many cases surrounded by a lipid -
containing membrane. They cannot grow or divide
by themselves. They must take over a living cell,
and force the cell to create copies of the virus.
The cell often dies in the process. The new viral
copies then invade other cells. When enough
cells are killed, the victim becomes sick and
may die.

Viruses were first discovered by a Russian botanist,
Dmitri Iosifovich Ivanovsky (1864-1920) in 1892 in
Tobacco Plant Disease. The Dutch microbiologist and
botanist, Martinus Willem Beijerinck (March 16, 1851
– January 1, 1931) independently replicated Dmitri
Ivanovsky’s experiments in 1898, gracefully
acknowledged Ivanovsky’s priority of discovery,
asserted that the newly found infective agent was
somewhat liquid in nature, and first called it
“contagium vivum fluidum” (contagious living fluid).
The name “virus” was later coined by
Beijerinck himself deriving it from the Latin word
“virus” referring to poison and other noxious
substances, first used in English in 1392. Virulent,
from Latin “virulentus” means “poisonous”.
The adjective viral dates to 1948. The term virion
(plural virions), which dates from 1959, is also used
to refer to a single, stable infective viral particle
that is released from the cell and is fully capable of
infecting other cells of the same type.

Unlike bacteria, viruses cannot stay on
inanimate objects, called fomites, contacted
by infected organisms and thence get into
other organisms coming into contact with such
fomites later.

The term “fomite” gained popularity after being
used in the 2011 film Contagion, although its use
led people to believe that the term referred to
germs spread through touching such objects,
instead of the objects themselves.

Seen the 2011 Sci-Fi / Medical Thriller / Disaster /
Pandemic movie, Contagion, by James Cameron,
which ran houseful for months in 3222 Screens in
the U.S. and world over – starred The Titanic (1997
– highest Box Office Grosser of the time, beaten
later by Avatar 2009, also by James Cameron) movie
– famed Kate Winslet as Dr. Erin Mears, an Epidemic
Intelligence Service Officer, who herself falls a
victim to the virus? Remember Kate won the
Academy (Oscar) Award for Best Actress for playing
Hanna Shmitz, the illiterate but book – loving Tram
Conductor, later turned Nazi Schutzstaffel SS agent,
and still later tried for Nazi War Crimes and
sentenced to life imprisonment and ultimately
killed herself in the prison, in the 2008 Stephen
Daldry directed movie, The Reader?

The word Fomite comes from the Latin “tinder,”
– a fomite is an object, such as a toilet seat, flush
handle, soap dispensers, tissue papers, stall
doors, bathroom exit handles,
Kitchen dishcloths,
cutting boards, sponges, and sink handles, cups,
books or items of clothing ) that, in themselves are
not harmful, but are able to harbor pathogenic
micro – organisms and thus may serve as agents
of transmission of infection.

Viruses were probably the earliest inhabitants
of our earth. Our Universe started in a rapid
expansion about 13.7 billion years ago -
The Big Bang – of everything, the building blocks
of all life and has evolved since that time. It is
thought that all of space was created in this first
moment. Viruses, the earliest inhabitants of our
earth started more than 6 billion years ago. Virus
self-assembly within host cells has implications
for the study of the origin of life, as it may support
the hypothesis that life could have started as
self-assembling organic molecules like the viruses.

The Bacteria arrived next about 4 billion years ago.
Anatomically modern humans arose in Africa only
about 200,000 years ago, and reached today’s
behavioral modernity barely 50,000 years ago!

More on viruses in the next page!

See Naples and Die 8 – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-XIV

Long time No See, eh! Come, jump on to my
magic flying carpet – PHFA (Hehe! haahaa!
Positive Health For All!) to see more of
Nature’s Free yet Greatest multicolour
Son-et-Lumiere show in the sky – Clouds.

As I noted at the end of the last page, “While
the non-living, inanimate objects like soil,
stones and rocks silently took the thrashing
by the rain and rivers coming from the clouds
and glaciers – both generic clouds anyway -
the living beings on earth, from the minute
bacteria to the mighty mankind evolving
through gigantic dinosaurs etc., fared
differently”.

I started discussing the living beings from the
minute bacteria but some intermediate beings
between the non-living, inanimate objects on
earth mentioned in the previous page and
bacteria, the lowest forms of living beings on
earth, to be detailed herein, also deserve our
attention.

They are the viruses which have attracted a
separate science called “Virology”.

It is common knowledge that common cold,
Influenza, Polio, Rabies, some forms of
Hepatitis, Chicken Pox, Small Pox, Measles,
Mumps, Encephalitis, Human (STD / Venereal)
Papilloma, AIDS etc., are caused by viruses.

Viruses are extremely small particles ranging
from 20 – 400 nanometers on an average, the
largest virus being 1000 nanometers in size,
too small to be seen with an ordinary light
(optical) microscope through which bacteria
can be seen; an electron microscope is needed
to see the viruses.

Viruses are most often considered non-cellular
replicators rather than cellular forms of life /
living beings like Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya,
Protista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia.

Some microbiologists also classify viruses as
micro – organisms, but others consider these
as nonliving.

They have been described as “organisms at the
edge of life,” since they possess genes, evolve
by natural selection, and replicate by creating
multiple copies of themselves through self -
assembly. However, viruses do not metabolize
(produce, use and dissipate energy) and they
require a living host cell to make new products.

More on viruses in the pages to follow and then
on bacteria etc.,

See Naples and Die 7 – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-XIII

Hey my dear Bloggies, Come, jump on to my magic flying carpet
PHFA (Hehe! haahaa! Positive Health For All!) to see more of
Nature’s Free yet Greatest multicolour Son-et-Lumiere show in
the sky – Clouds.

Clouds (God-made / Natural) are much more interesting and attract
our attention much more than Artificial / Man-made clouds which will
be discussed briefly later.

Natural clouds form on ground and in the sky – extending from our
ground through various layers of our Earth’s atmosphere and other
planetary / interplanetary / interstellar / intergalactic atmospheres
upto the limits of our own Universe and also the other parallel
multiple Universes / Multiuniverses / Multiverse.

BTW, for those of you accepting that there are multiple Universes /
Multiuniverses / Multiverse, let me quote a few superb lines from the
nice article, “Parallel Universes” written by Max Tegmark of Dept.
of Physics, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104;
max@physics.upenn.edu (Mail Bounced / Permanent Failure to
deliver – User unknown (state 13).(January 23 2003.), Scientific
American: “Is there another copy of you reading this article,
deciding to put it aside without finishing this sentence while you
are reading on? A person living on a planet called Earth, with misty
mountains, fertile fields and sprawling cities, in a solar system with
eight other planets. The life of this person has been identical to
yours in every respect (until now, that is, when your decision to
read on signals that your two lives are diverging. You probably
find this idea strange and implausible, and I must confess that this
is my gut reaction too. Yet it looks like we will just have to live with
it, since the simplest and most popular cosmological model today
predicts that this person actually exists in a Galaxy about 10
raised to to the power of 10 raised to the power of 29 meters from
here” (Sorry, my text – editor does not provide for subscripts,
superscripts and super – superscripts to write “10 raised to the
power of 10 raised to the power of 29″ more decently!).
Continuing with Max Tegmark, “This does not even assume
speculative modern physics, merely that space is infinite and
rather uniformly filled with matter as indicated by recent
astronomical observations. Your alter ego is simply a prediction
of the so-called concordance model of cosmology, which agrees
with all current observational evidence and is used as the basis
for most calculations and simulations presented at cosmology
conferences. In contrast, alternatives such as a fractal universe,
a closed universe and a multiply connected universe have been
seriously challenged by observations. The farthest you can
observe is the distance that light has been able to travel during
the 14 billion years since the big-bang expansion began. The most
distant visible objects are now about 4×10 raised to the power of
26 meters away, and a sphere of this radius defines our
observable universe, also called our Hubble volume, our horizon
volume or simply our universe. Likewise, the universe of your
above – mentioned twin is a sphere of the same size centered over
there, none of which we can see or have any causal contact with
yet. This is the simplest (but far from the only) example of parallel
universes. By this very definition of “universe”, one might expect
the notion that our observable universe is merely a small part of
a larger “multiverse” to be forever in the domain of metaphysics.
Yet the epistemological borderline between physics and
metaphysics is defined by whether a theory is experimentally
testable, not by whether it is weird or involves unobservable
entities. Technology – powered experimental breakthroughs have
therefore expanded the frontiers of physics to incorporate ever
more abstract (and at the time counterintuitive) concepts” (End
quote of Max Tegmark with googolplex thanx for such nice
quotable lines on a complex subject) such as multiverse!

While the Greatest Free Son-et-lumierre show provided by the
colourful, vivacious clouds with their musical, glamorous,
deafening, blinding, cruel, destructive, life – threatening
orchestral accompaniments like thunder, storm, torrential rain,
cyclone, tornadoes etc., as well as the very benevolent, life -
sustaining accompaniments like gentle, sprinkler – like,
irrigating rain has been going on from the time of Big Bang
explosion, the non-living, inanimate objects like soil, stones
and rocks could not withstand the pounding and thrashing
by pouring rain and running / rapid / rushing / gushing rivers -
the meanest, measly, smallest among them just got pulverised
and washed off / dissolved leaving no traces / trails while the
mightiest / bulkiest / sturdiest amongst them like the gigantic
Colorado Plateau had to yield, at least 2.5–5 million years ago,
if not earlier, to the speeding / rushing / pounding / thrashing /
cutting / eroding by the mighty, untamed Colarado river of 2.5 –
5 million years ago, running / rushing to its destination – the
Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora – at
blood – curdlingly unimaginably furious flow volumes and velocities -
much much more than 30,000 m3s 1,200,000 cfs – resulting in the
formation of The Grand Canyon which is 277 miles (446 km) long,
up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile
(6,000 feet / 1,800 metres) and considered one of the Seven
Natural Wonders of the World although it is not the deepest
canyon / gorge in the world, falling behind Kali Gandaki Gorge
or Andha Galchi – the gorge of the Kali Gandaki (or Gandaki River)
in the Himalayas in Nepal, which is far deeper than the The Grand
Canyon, while the Kali Gandaki (or Gandaki River) itself is older
than the Himalayas! See! Himalayas has the world’s tallest peak,
Mount Everest as also the world’s deepest gorge – very truely
the High and the Low!

While the non-living, inanimate objects like soil, stones and rocks
silently took the thrashing by the rain and rivers coming from the
clouds and glaciers – both generic clouds anyway – the living
beings on earth, from the minute bacteria to the mighty mankind
evolving through gigantic dinosaurs etc., fared differently.

That will be the story for the next page! Au re-voir!

See Naples and Die 6 – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-XII

Hello Folks riding with me on my Magic Carpet! Welcome Back!

Back to clouds and then back to Eugene Gladstone O’Neill and then back to
Beating Heart Surgery and then back to See Naples and Die 1 and then back to
Rome and women doctors of ancient Rome and then back through Heydays &
Doomsdays to “FDA-APPROVED DRUGS KILL A MILLION AMERICANS PER
DECADE – one person every five minutes!” with its originator, the eminent
columnist / activist / satirist JON RAPPOPORT – http://nomorefakenews.com/ -
still waiting in the wings yet churning away soul-piercing, pungeant punch
lines as always!!

Yes…s…s…s…s, We have to go back a long, l…o…n…g python – like winding
way, indeed! As Meher Baba said first and later the ten-times Grammy Award
winner Robert “Bobby” McFerrin, Jr. and still later the Late pop legend
Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley, OM (Remember his best-known hits including
“I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman, No Cry”, “Could You Be Loved”, “Stir It Up”,
“Get Up Stand Up”, “Jamming”, “Redemption Song”, “One Love” and,
“Three Little Birds”, as well as the posthumous releases “Buffalo Soldier”
and “Iron Lion Zion”; and the compilation album Legend (1984), released
three years after his death and is reggae’s best – selling album, going ten times
Platinum which is also known as one Diamond in the U.S., and selling 25
million copies worldwide) sang, “Don’t worry! Be Happy!!”!

Don’t worry! We will make it!! Be Happy!!!

Clouds and their homologues Dew, Mist, Ice, Snow, Frost, Fog, Smog (Smoke
+ Fog) are all visible masses of liquid droplets or frozen crystals made of water
or various chemicals suspended in the atmosphere above the surface of a
planetary body like earth. These suspended particles are also known as aerosols.
Clouds and their homologues are formed by water vapour freezing / precipitating
/ crystallising by itself or condensing onto A. Cloud condensation nuclei or CCNs
(also known as cloud seeds) – (particles may be composed of dust or clay, soot
or black carbon from grassland or forest fires, sea salt from ocean wave spray,
soot from factory smokestacks or internal combustion engines, sulfate from
volcanic activity, phytoplankton or the oxidation of sulfur dioxide and secondary
organic matter formed by the oxidation of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds
which are are numerous, varied, and ubiquitous including both human-made
and naturally occurring chemical compounds including most scents or odors,
paints and coatings; also Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and chlorocarbons used
as refrigerants, dry cleaning agents, fossil fuels – gasoline and automobile
exhaust; Benzene in tobacco smoke, stored fuels, and exhaust from cars in an
attached garage, from natural sources such as volcanoes and forest fires and
in the production of plastics, resins, and synthetic fibers; Methylene chloride
found in adhesive removers and aerosol spray paints; Perchloroethylene used
mostly in dry cleaning; MTBE banned in the US from 2004 – used as an octane
booster and oxygenated – additive in underground gasoline storage tanks – their
leakage led to contamination of drinking water aquifers and poisoning all living
beings; a host of VOCs found in indoor air in offices from new furnishings, wall
coverings, and office equipment such as photocopy machines, which can
off – gas VOCs into the air; and the irritant poison Formaldehyde slowly emitted
by many building materials such as wood, paints, adhesives, wall boards, and
ceiling tiles etc.,) and B. Ice Nuclei, (particles which act as the nuclei for the
formation of ice crystals in the atmosphere) both natural and anthropogenic,
including those composed of minerals, soot, organic matter, sulfate and even
bacteria found in the atmosphere all over the world.

For the miniscule – measurement – minded amongst you, CCNs are small
particles typically 0.2 µm, or 1/100th the size of a cloud droplet; a typical
raindrop is about 2 mm in diameter, a typical cloud droplet is on the order
of 0.02 mm, and a typical cloud condensation nucleus (aerosol) is on the
order of 0.0001 mm or 0.1 micrometer or greater in diameter. The number
of cloud condensation nuclei in the air can be measured and ranges
between around 100 to 1000 per cubic centimetre. The total mass of CCNs
injected into the atmosphere has been estimated at 2x(10 RAISED TO THE
POWER of ) kg over just a year’s time!

Clouds, the greatest free colour / song and dance (Son et lumière)
(phantasmagoria) show in the sky have been around from time
immemorial, pretty much from just shortly after the big – bang (The Origin
of the Universe), long before there came 1. specialist Hobbyists called
“Cloud Watchers” (the latest and illustrious example of whom was
Dr.John “Cloudman” A.Day 1913 – 2008 who gave the people the clarion
call “Just “Look UP and SEE” the beauty of the sky!” saying “The Act of
Seeing Nourishes the Soul” and provided the famous Skywatcher’s Cloud
Chart in collaborative effort with the Weather Channel and also through
the “For Spacious Skies” TV Program started by Jack Borden, former
television reporter in Boston, MA,) and 2. specialist weather scientists
called Meteorologists (their Pioneer being British amateur meteorologist
Luke Howard (1772 – 1864) who, in 1802, gave the widely accepted
Cloud Classification (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, nimbus) to study them
(in Cloud Physics – the study of the physical processes that lead to the
formation, growth and precipitation of clouds.)!

A few words on the etymology (“Etymology” is the study of the history of
words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over
time. By an extension, the term “etymology (of a word)” means the origin
of a particular word.) of the words “Sky” and “Cloud” would belong here!
For this you need to bear with some well-accepted and standard
abbreviations like M.E.(Middle English (1100-1400) period), O.E. (Old
English or Anglo-saxon (600-1100)), O.N. (Old Norse from the era of
The Vikings, also called Northmen or Norsemen, who, from the late 8th
to the mid -11th century (from 790 to 1,000) raided and plundered
the coast of Europe and the British Isles and established settlements
in Britain and France; many of their Norse words are now part of
everyday English vocabulary.), OHG (Old High German) etc.,

:Cloud” O.E. meant “mass of rock,” related to clud / clod. In M.E.
from O.N. “Sky / Skie” also originally meant “cloud.” In M.E. “Sky”
meant “Cloud” first and the “sky” second, while “cloud”, derived
from O.E. clud meant rock, hill, and cloud in that order. It has been
only since 1400 that sky meant sky and cloud meant cloud, as we
know and use them today.

Confused, eh?? Don’t Worry! Be Happy!! Take refuge in “A rose
by any other name would smell as sweet”, a commonly quoted
part of a dialogue in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and
Juliet, in which Juliet argues that the names of things do not matter,
only what things are.

Though clouds have been around from time immemorial, individual
clouds are not immortal, not even long – lived; mostly they are
evanescent, constantly changing, and so it is almost impossible
to trace the life cycle of a cloud which takes an average of 30
minutes to go through. One interesting fact, though, is that a
cloud that keeps its shape is a cloud that rises because if it remains
stationary, it evaporates. A cloud that produces precipitation is also
a cloud that rises, thus cooling even further and causing greater
condensation. Clouds grow, amalgamate, fragment and dissipate /
disappear during periods of convection, when clouds (water vapor
form of water) becomes liquid and falls to the earth as rain.
Rarely a weird cloud has even fallen to the ground, has rolled over,
has broken up and has vanished, right under the nose of,
understandably, bewildered men!

Clouds “die” by the opposite adiabatic effect, when the air sinks
in a high pressure and the air warms up, thus allowing the moisture
to evaporate giving place to a clear sky.

If those clouds were never to “die” then the sky would be entirely
covered by clouds and no liquid water would be left on earth.

Every few days a new cloud will form as the old ones evaporate.
Like every other phenomenon of nature, Clouds also seem to say,
as in the poem, “The Brook” by Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron
Tennyson, FRS (1809 – 1892) who was Poet Laureate of the
United Kingdom during Queen Victoria’s reign, the brook says,
“Men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.”!

With that I shall close this page! See you in the next page with
more on clouds!

See Naples and Die 5 – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-XI

Back from Curiosity which we elaborated in the previous page to more – much more – interesting details about Clouds which we just touched upon towards the end of the  last page.

But hold on a sec – an interesting addendum to the topic of Curiosity of the previous page!

“Curiosity” is also the name of the USA – NASA launched Martian Rover / Explorer aka The Mars Science Laboratory launched on November 26, 2011 and landed successfully on target – on Mars – on August 6, 2012 UTC. It is larger and more advanced than the earlier Mars Exploration Rovers, with a movement rate of 90 m/h.

This “Curiosity” was deployed, not just to satisfy man’s curiosity about the Red Planet (more about it later), but to find and get more living space for the alarmingly fast burgeoning, nay exploding, world human population, estimated to number 7.032 billion as on October 31, 2011 with annual growth rate which peaked at 2.2% in 1963, and happily had declined to 1.1% by 2011. More mouths to feed and more refuse of the living and more carcasses of the dead to be disposed / dumped! So Martian Rover “Curiosity” project was driven not just by idle, fancy curiosity but by dire, urgent necessity of new colonisation in space. Every environment on Earth and elsewhere in space that contains liquid water also sustains life. After all necessity is the mother of invention.

I hear some rocket – fast real estate entrepreneurs have already started booking / selling plots on our Moon and Mars to avid buyers on earth!

Interestingly Mars, considered as Earth’s space cousin, the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System, named after the Roman god of war, is often described as the “Red Planet” as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain within the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons. Mars, although now a cold and dry planet, had a warmer, watery, habitable past, and so much also, like our Earth and many other planets and their satellite moons, has Clouds – the subject of this page. Mars has high, thin clouds of water ice. Rivers have in the past coursed across the surface of Mars.

“Curiosity” landed on Martian Gale Crater, an ancient geological feature just south of the Martian equator, caused when a meteor slammed into Mars 3 billion years ago, having an enormous mountain in its center, dubbed Mt. Sharp in honor of noted Caltech geologist Robert Phillip Sharp; the mountain is three miles high; that’s taller than any mountain in the “lower 48” of the United States (albeit shorter than Mount Everest in Himalayas standing tall at 4.35 miles / 5280 ft and growing taller with years!) and taller than some portions of the rim of the crater that encircles the mound.

Martian Mt. Sharp’s slopes contain distinct layers — clay at the bottom, an apparent remnant of Mars’s watery past, a layer of sulfates on top of that, and layers of sand and dust toward the top. Similar to the way the walls of the Grand Canyon offer a layered view of the evolution of North America, space scientists believe Mt. Sharp’s slopes contain a preserved record of Mars’s past. “Curiosity” will climb the lower portion of the mountain to investigate the makeup of the layers of soil.”Curiosity” has started the era of a whole new dimension of space exploration. That dimension is one of “deep time.” Rather than getting a snapshot of one point in time on Mars, the mountain will allow “Curiosity” to build an understanding of hundreds of millions to even billions of years of Martian history.

“Curiosity” will search for the other building blocks of life, particularly carbon-carrying organic molecules, which may allow human colonisation of Mars!

Anyway, to avoid getting lost in distractions and diversions, however interesting and excitingly hot they may be, but stay on course, the main stream, let us leave Mars for another day and get on with the clouds, equally interesting!

Clouds in many forms – mist, fog, clouds, (ice, snow) and (the new) smog have been in the sky (from planetary / star / moon surfaces up through their atmospheres and interplanetary / interstellar / intergalactic space up until the outer limit of space (which is itself fast moving further and further out with the univers(es) fast expanding relentlessly and probably endlesssly) around spatial bodies including our earth (and many other planets and their satellites / moons and stars) ever since the Universe(s) formed (were created?) (with Big Bang?) probably about 13.7 billion years ago starting with subatomic nano particles through atoms -> molecules -> matter -> elements -> mixtures and compounds, molecular clouds of various sizes including gigantic ones etc., and broke up into myriads of asteroids, stars, quasars, clusters and syperclusters and their planetary systems (like our own solar system centered around our Sun estimated to have begun 4.568 billion years ago, currently having Luminosity (Lsol) 3.846×1026 W ~3.75×1028 lm ~98 lm/W efficacy and Temperatures – Center (modeled): ~1.57×107 K, Photosphere (effective): 5,778 K and Corona: ~5×106 K but has an expected further life of only ~ 1 quadrillion years (10 raised to 15 years) passing through stages of a red giant swallowing Mercury and possibly Venus and Earth (where will you and I be then / thence?) and then become a white dwarf, no longer producing energy but cools and dims continuously until it becomes a black dwarf with its luminosity falling below three trillionths its current level, while its temperature falls to 2239 K, making it invisible to human eyes (if at all humans were still to be there!) -> and finally our Sun cools to 5 K with the gravity of passing stars detaching planets from our Sun’s orbits and lastly our Solar System will ceases to exist! RIP! Whoever optimist said “It is never the end of the world!” will have to eat his words then, if he were to be there, then!

Sounds to..oo..oo..o GLO…OO…OO…OO…OMY, eh!

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” as in the clarion call to all citizens of the world by the world-famed Indian mystic, sage and spiritual master who declared publicly in 1954 that he was the Avatar (an incarnation of God) of the age, Meher Baba (1894-1969) (meaning “Compassionate Father”; though Meher Baba was silent for long years, silence not undertaken by him as a spiritual exercise but solely in connection with his “universal work”, his call, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” reached, via his cables to his western followers, millions all over the world by being quoted in numerous Baba posters and inspirational cards of the era. Ten-times Grammy Award winner Robert “Bobby” McFerrin, Jr.(Bobby McFerrin) said, “Whenever you see a poster of Meher Baba, it usually says ‘Don’t worry, be happy,’ which is a pretty neat philosophy in four words, I think.” Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 Grammy Award-winning song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was inspired by the popular quote of Baba seen in “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” posters and cards. Originally released in conjunction with the film Cocktail in 1988 the song was included in the soundtrack of the movie but though somewhat popular because of the lyrics, the song got no award and originally peaked at No. 88 on the Billboard Hot 100, although another song “Kokomo” in the same movie won the BMI Film & TV Awards award for the Most Performed Song from a Film,1989 and was nominated for Golden Globes, USA Award and Grammy Award. Sadly enough, the movie Cocktail, 1988 won the infamous Razzie Awards for the Worst Picture 1989 and Worst Screenplay 1989! Its lead actor, Tom Cruise, was nominated for the infamous Razzie Award for the Worst Actor 1989 and its Director, Roger Donaldson, was nominated for the infamous Razzie Award for the Worst Director 1989! Undaunted, the wizard that Bobby McFerrin is, re-released the very same song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” the same year and it peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 24, 1988. The song also peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Tracks chart and No. 7 on the Billboard Hot Adult ontemporary Tracks chart. The song was also a hit in the United Kingdom and on the UK Singles Chart, the song reached number 2 during its fifth week on the chart. The hit song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, brought Bobby McFerrin widespread recognition across the world. However, the song’s success “ended McFerrin’s musical life as he had known it,” and he began to pursue other musical possibilities – on stage and in recording studios. The song was used in George H. W. Bush’s 1988 U.S. presidential election as Bush’s 1988 official presidential campaign song, without Bobby McFerrin’s permission or endorsement. In reaction, Bobby McFerrin, a Democrat, publicly protested that particular use of his song, including stating that he was going to vote against Bush, and completely dropped the song from his own performance repertoire, to make the point even clearer. McFerrin’s song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was a No. 1 U.S. pop hit in 1988 and won at the 1989 Grammy Awards, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance honors. It is ranked No. 31 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” became the first cappella song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a position it held for two weeks. It also appears on Rolling Stone’s list of the 15 Best Whistling Songs of All Time.

Cheering up?! I can already hear some of you whistling / humming / singing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” by Bobby McFerrin or Bob Morley.

To cheer you up more, here are two anecdotes from the life of Albert Einstein, the Genius, considered during his life time “father of modern physics” and the most influential physicist of the 20th century, second to only Sir.Isaac Newton, who has been “considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived.”. Newton remains influential to today’s scientists, as demonstrated by a 2005 survey of members of Britain’s Royal Society (formerly headed by Newton) asking who had the greater effect on the history of science, Newton or Einstein. Royal Society scientists deemed Newton to have made the greater overall contribution. In 1999, an opinion poll of 100 of today’s leading physicists voted Einstein the “greatest physicist ever;” with Newton the runner-up, while a parallel survey of rank-and-file physicists by the site PhysicsWeb gave the top spot to Newton.

Once when Einstein had finished a lecture on our Sun’s Chronology and our earth’s probable extinction in about 5 billion years, an elderly lady, visibly shaken, sauntered to him and asked him in a voice choked with anxiety, “Did you say that our earth will cease to exist in 5 million years?”; when Einstein said, “No Madam! I said 5 billion years!”, she heaved a sigh of relief and said, “Thank God! I had wrongly heard it as 5 million years and got worried for myself!”!

On another occasion. when Einstein was delivering a long lecture in English, a lady sitting in the first row kept looking at him pointedly, shook her head positively often (in appreciation / agreement), smiled now and then too and even clapped hands softly a few times. Einstein felt encouraged by and grateful to her and, after the lecture was over, went over to the lady and said, “Madam! Thank you very much for your kind attention and encouragement!”. She promptly replied in German,”Kein Englisch!” meaning “No English!” – it turned out that she did not understand English at all!

Cheer up – Read the optimist’s famous last words as, “Within our life-time, It is never the end of the world!”!

Here are the best examples of an optimist and a pessimist – At an airline Ticket Counter, the Optimist buys a return ticket while the Pessimist buys a Flight Insurance!

The difference between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist laughs to forget, but a pessimist forgets to laugh, as defined by Thomas Edward “Tom” Bodett.

If you had the option to borrow from an optimist or pessimist, choose to borrow from the pessimist because he will, even from the word go, never have any hope of you returning the loan money to him!

“We’ll leave the light on for ya!” – as in the ending phrase of Tom Bodet in the popular commercials for the hotel chain Motel 6, and close this page, to come back another day with a new page, continuing with Clouds, of course!

Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004 – X

Back to “Curiosity killed the cat!” left halfway in the previous page.

Do not suppress your curiosity out of fear of being killed by curiosity!
If the giants of mankind in the past had suppressed their curiosity
out of fear of death by curiosity, America, Africa, Australia and the
North and South Poles would never have been discovered, Alps
and Mount Everest (the highest mountain on the planet) would never
have been scaled, [An Unavoidable aside here - British mountain
climber George Leigh Mallory (1886 - 1924) who, along with his
climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, is speculated to have reached the
top of Everest (but did not come back - disappeared from the eyes
of the obervers below - presumably fell and died - his frozen body
discovered forty-six years later, in 1999, by an expedition funded
by the TV show Nova and the BBC, about 2,000 feet below the
summit, where he appeared to have died after a fall. Andrew
Irvine’s body has yet to be found.) on June 8th, 1924, twenty-nine
years before New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary and his
Sherpa companion Tenzing Norgay climbed to the top of Everest in 1953,
planted the two national flags there and came back alive.The funside
has it that after Hillary and Tenzing planted the flags on top of Everest,
a voice (in the South Indian Malayalam - the language spoken in Kerala,
the south-western-most part of India - populated by Malayalam-speaking
Malayalees, including the community called Nairs, who are highly
enterprising, and hence ubiquitous - they would even reach where even
the Sun's rays cannot reach and would run tea stalls wherever they went,
Everest Summit included!) came from behind, "Enthaa Saare!
Chaayaa tharattaa?", meaning "Shall I give you a cuppa tea, Sirs?"!
Hillary and Tenzing looked back in bewilderment ("A man here before us?")
and saw a tiny, frail Nair, in flesh and blood, calling from his already -
established "Nair's Everest Top Tea stall!". Funny side not withstanding,
during his fund-raising tour for his next 1923 Everest Expedition, Mallory
was often asked why he wanted to climb Everest. The question seemed
somewhat inane (senseless, unimaginative, empty, unintelligent) to an
adventurer like Mallory He eventually came up with a standard answer,
“Because it’s there!”! The answer became famous when it was quoted
in a story in the March 18, 1923 issue of the New York Times with the
headline “CLIMBING MOUNT EVEREST IS WORK FOR SUPERMEN.”
Mallory’s reply was included in the opening paragraph: "“Why did you
want to climb Mount Everest?” This question was asked of George Leigh
Mallory, who was with both expeditions toward the summit of the world’s
highest mountain, in 1921 and 1922, and who is now in New York. He
plans to go again in 1924, and he gave as the reason for persisting in
these repeated attempts to reach the top, “Because it’s there!"".
Mallory wasn’t being entirely flippant. He went on to explain: “Everest
is the highest mountain in the world, and no man has reached
its summit. Its existence is a challenge. The answer is instinctive,
a part, I suppose, of man’s desire to conquer the universe!”. For those
of you medically oriented, the Great Mountaineer, George Leigh
Mallory should not be confused with the famed George Kenneth
Mallory (1900–1986), who was a famous American pathologist, who,
along with the Hungary - born famous Chief Physician of Harvard,
Soma Weiss (1898-1942) described, in 1929 and later, the serious
Mallory–Weiss syndrome, blood - vomiting hemorrhagic (bleeding)
lacerations / linear tears of the lining mucous membrane at the cardiac
orifice of the stomach, at the junction of the stomach and esophagus
(food - pipe), usually caused by severe retching, coughing or vomiting)
Aside to Mount Everest ends here!], the great oceans would never have
been fathomed, energy sources like electricity would not have been
tapped and tamed, modern transportation on earth, in the skies and
into space would not have been possible, modern communication
like telephony and internet would not have evolved, killer germs
would not have been eradicated / controlled, Life sustenance and
Human Organ Transplantation (except the still evasive, little
understoodand wonder of wonders of an organ, the human brain)
would not have blossomed to today’s level! A lot lot more remains
to be done! As the old saying goes, “The thrill is in the hunt!”!

So take heart from a less – frequently – seen but more encouraging,
optimistic, hope – raising rejoinder to the above proverb saying,
“Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back” – coming
from a famous but most – un – expected – in – this – context source,
Eugene O’Neill aka Eugene Gladstone O’Neill (1888 – 1953),
the famous American tragedian playwright, America’s foremost
playwright, the Founding Father of modern American Drama,
American Theater’s “Master of the Misbegotten”, America’s Titan
of the drama, the second citizen of the USA to win the Nobel Prize
for Literature (in 1936) next only to Harry Sinclair Lewis who was the
first American playwright to win a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1930
but Eugene excelled and outshone Sinclair in many ways including
being a record 4 times Pulitzer Prize winner (including one
posthumous!) and the third most widely translated and produced
dramatist next only to Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw.
Eugene O’Neill was fondly called “GENE / Gene” by his most devoted
third / last / “till – death – do – us – part” Actress wife Carlotta
Monterey – Birth Name Hazel Neilson Taasinge – and also friends like
Arthur Bosworth McGinley aka Art McGinley, a long-time sports editor,
Providence Journal’s Obituary Editor and columnist of The Hartford
Times and also a popular toastmaster in Connecticut. Heard of the
much – coveted The McGinley award which is given to a current or
former Alliance member for meritorious service (Art was GENE’s
neighbour and drinking companion for many years – used to boast,
“Gene O’Neil and I tried to drink America dry!”. Unlike GENE,
Art had a very happy childhood and family which made him a highly
jovial person. GENE used the McGinley family as a model for his
only comedy (among the 53 plays published in his life time) and his
24th play, “Ah, Wilderness!”). Shall we also call, for brevity’s sake,
Eugene Gladstone O’Neill as “GENE” herein and hereafter?!),
We called “GENE” “most – un – expected – in – this – context”
because he was not only a man of many sorrows who had a
personal life full of tragedies, coming from a dysfunctional family,
but his plays were also out-and-out tragedies. fully steeped /
soaked in stark tragedy, but for this positive saying, “Curiosity
killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back” and his 24th play,
“Ah, Wilderness!” and an unproduced (in his life time) comedy,
”Now I Ask You,” (a comic spin on Norwegian playwright
Henrik Ibsen’s ”Hedda Gabler”, first published in 1890 -
portraying Hedda, daughter of Gabler and married to Tesman
but the play’s title went by her maiden name rather than her
married name; on the subject of the title, Ibsen wrote: “My
intention in giving it this name was to indicate that Hedda as
a personality is to be regarded rather as her father’s daughter
than her husband’s wife.”! The character of Hedda is
considered by some critics as one of the great dramatic
roles in theatre, the “female Hamlet,” and some
portrayals have been very controversial. Depending on the
interpretation, Hedda may be portrayed as an idealistic heroine
fighting society, a victim of circumstance, a prototypical feminist,
or a manipulative villain!). Don’t GENE’s two comedies
interspersed with 52 sorrowful tragic plays and his inspiring
positive saying, “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction
brought it back” remind you of the bright Silverline in the
Dark / Black clouds which, in turn, inspired the famous
inspirational sayings “Every Cloud has a Silver Lining!”
and “Silver Line Your Black Cloud!” and “Cloud Nine”
(the idiom referring to a state of elation or happiness)!

More on Clouds, GENE and Beating Heart Surgery
in the next page. So long, then!

See Naples and Die 3- Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-IX

Before continuing with
Halcyon’s calm waters
left halfway in the last
page, let me satisy
your curiosity / thirst
for knowledge with
some more details about
Beating – heart (Off -
Pump) CABG surgery
which I barely touched
upon in the fag end of
the previous page
and unwittingly probably
provoked your curiosity.
Provocation of curiosity
is magnetic; human
nature is to quench
curiosity. So go ahead
and quench your
burning curiosity,
without getting scared
of curiosity killing you,
going by the old saying,
“Curiosity killed the cat!”,
often used to warn of
the dangers of novel and
unnecessary investigation
or experimentation and
scare you away (unlike
the great Benjamin
Franklin’s historic,
earth-shaking (not
“unnecessary” as
proved by its results
later) Kite Electricity
Experiment in a
blazing thunderstorm,
of course from the
safety of an electrical
Stand [an insulated
protective platform],
in Philadelphia in the
state of Pennsylvania,
U.S.A. on 15 June
1752, [Barely five
weeks after Thomas -
François D'Alibard of
France - on 10 May
1752 - had verified the
same theory using a
50 - feet (15 m) - tall
iron rod (instead of
flying a kite as did
Ben) and had extracted
electrical sparks -
"electric fluid" - from a
cloud during a lightning
in Paris and barely one
month after M. Delor, a
Parisian who used to
exhibit his electrical work
for the King of France,
repeated the experiment
in Paris - Ben did not
know about the French
results] in a harsh
thunderstorm which
could have killed and
charred Ben totally and
instantaneously as indeed
happened unfortunatley
to Prof. Georg Wilhelm
Richmann (1711 – 1753),
a German physicist who
was electrocuted a few
months after Ben’s
experiment. Richmann
was electrocuted in
St. Petersburg while
“trying to quantify the
response of an insulated
rod to a nearby storm.”
He was attending
a meeting of the
Academy of Sciences,
when he heard thunder.
The Professor ran
home with his engraver
to capture the event for
posterity. While the
experiment was underway,
a supposed ball lightning
appeared and collided
with Richmann’s head
leaving him dead with
a red spot on his
forehead, his shoes
blown open, and parts
of his clothes singed.
An explosion followed
“like that of a small Cannon”
that knocked the engraver
out, split the room’s door
frame, and tore the door
off its hinges. Reportedly,
the ball lightning travelled
along the apparatus and
was the cause of his death.
Richmann was apparently
the first person in history
to die while conducting
electrical experiments.
Curiosity did kill the cat!

That Franklin himself was
not harmed during his
wildly dangerous kite -
flying feat in June of
1752 is amazing.
Some scientists believe
that Benjamin was
somewhat protected
because he conducted
his test at the very
beginning of the storm.
It’s important to remember
that Franklin did not want
to draw a lightning strike
upon himself, and that his
kite was not actually struck
by lightning contrary to
popular belief. Franklin’s
goal in using the kite was
basically to gather the
theoretical “electrical fire”
associated with lightning
in a safe way so as to
demonstrate its electrical
properties. Note also that
since the atmosphere always
contains an electric field,
a kite and its conducting
string and ribbon would
become electrified even
in clear dry weather. Thus,
Franklin could have shown
that atmospheric electricity
existed even with no
thunderstorm present.

D’Alibard and DeLor
reported their
accomplishments to
the Académie des
Sciences (the French
Academy of Sciences)
and explicitly stated that
they had simply carried
out Franklin’s sentry box
directions. In particular,
D’Alibard declared:
“In following the path
that M. Franklin traced
for us, I have obtained
complete satisfaction.”
King Lous XV sent his
compliments to
“Mr. Franklin of
Pennsylvania,”; so
impressed was he
with the Philadelphia
Experiment and
Benjamin Franklin’s
scientific acumen.

As often emphasized,
Franklin did not invent
electricity. He just proved
that lightning is the same
as the static electricity
that he and other
electricians were
creating with their
electrical contrivances.
His use of the Leyden
jar in the 1752 experiment,
by the way, gave rise to
the saying that Franklin
“bottled lightning.”!

Hey, look! I cannot bottle
the multifacetted genius
that Benjamin Franklin
was in this tiny blog page.

Let us not get pulled up
by a kite into the clouds
(? 37 as on date
including the most
sought after Cloud 9)
by more details
about the great
Benjamin Franklin
who, as a signer of
both the Declaration
of Independence and
the Constitution of the
USA , is rightfully
called one of the
Founding Fathers of
the United States. His
pervasive influence in
the early history of the
United States has led
to his being jocularly
called “the only President
of the United States who
was never President of
the United States.”!

See U folks in the next
page detailing how
Curiosity may not
always kill, as told
by another American
Genius, Eugene O’Neill,
and then quench your
as yet unsatiated
curiosity about
Beating – heart (Off -
Pump) CABG surgery.

Stay tuned!

See Naples and Die 2- Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-VIII

Welcome back to See Naples and Die 2-
Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu
0004-VIII after your Calm, peaceful days /
Halcyon days wished by me at the end
of the last page.

The Halcyon is a Greek legendary bird -
the equivalent of present day European
Kingfisher bird. The ancients believed
that the Halcyon birds (unlike other birds
making their nests in burrows dug by
them in river banks / lake shores etc.),
made a floating nest in the Aegean Sea
with the fish bones ejected by
themselves after digestion and had
the power to calm the waves while
brooding their eggs – males shared,
with their females, the chore of
brooding the eggs in daytime while
the females had to do it by themselves
at nighr. Halcyon had the power to
calm the waves (Hence the phrase
“Halcyon days” meaning “Calm,
peaceful days”.) while brooding her
eggs.The source of the belief in the
bird’s power to calm the sea
originated in a myth recorded
by Ovid. The story goes that
Aeolus, the ruler of the winds,
had a daughter named Alcyone,
who was married to Ceyx, the king
of Thessaly. Ceyx was drowned
at sea and Alcyone threw herself
into the waves in a fit of grief.
Instead of drowning, she was
transformed into a bird, Halcyon
(modification from her original
name Alcyone, and carried to
her husband by the wind.
Fourteen days of calm
weather were to be expected
when the Halcyon was
nesting – around the winter
solstice, usually 21st or 22nd
of December – beginning on
the 14th or 15th of December.

Halcyon calming the waters of
the Aegean Sea reminds me
of us – the brain(y?) surgeons -
calming the brain and the
heart to facilitate complicated
surgical operations on the
brain – like clipping Giant
Basilar Top Aneurysms and
the heart surgeons calming
the heart only – cardioplegia -
intentional and temporary
cessation of cardiac activity,
(i.e. to stop the heart from
beating) and employing Heart
Lung Machine aka Extra-
corporeal Circulation aka
Cardiopulmonary bypass
(CPB) aka “The Pump” used
from 1951 in Open-Chest Open
Cardiotomy / Closed Heart
operations such as Cardiac
valve repair and / or
replacement (aortic valve, mitral
valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonic
valve), Repair of large septal
defects (atrial septal defect,
ventricular septal defect,
atrioventricular septal defect),
Repair and / or palliation of
congenital heart defects
(Tetralogy of Fallot,
transposition of the great
vessels), Repair of some
large aneurysms (aortic
aneurysms, cerebral aneurysms)
Pulmonary thrombo-
endarterectomy, Pulmonary
thrombectomy and, of course,
Transplantation (heart
transplantation, lung
transplantation, heart – lung
transplantation) – in most of
which CPB was a must
but also in Coronary artery
bypass surgery, where it has,
since the 1990s, been replaced
slowly and gradually but not yet
completely by “off-pump /
beating heart bypass surgery”;
the long and hideous sternum
(breastbone) – splitting cuts
being replaced by the much
smaller cuts of Minimally
invasive surgery and even
just 3 small holes for the
most recent robot-assisted
heart surgery; this is where
a machine – Robot ( a
real – life descendant of the
reel – life fictitious Daleks
of BBC’s “Doctor Who”)
is used to perform surgery
while being controlled by
the heart surgeon. The
main advantage to this
is the size of the incision
made in the patient.
Instead of an incision
being at least big enough
for the surgeon to put his
hands inside, it does not
have to be bigger than
three small holes for the
robot’s much smaller
hands to get through.
Also the long cuts from
groin to ankle for
harvesting the graft /
conduit vessel – the Long
/ Great Saphenous Vein
(L SV / GSV) [the terms
"safaina" (Greek, meaning
"manifest," "to be clearly
seen") and "el safin"
(Arabic, meaning "hidden
/ concealed") have both
been claimed as the
origin for the name of
the vein, "saphenous"]
are replaced by a few
small holes through
which vascular
endoscopes are passed
and the vein is harvested
endoscopically, using a
technique known as
endoscopic vessel
harvesting (EVH).
The recent, safer
modifications of
Coronary Artery
Bypass Graft (CABG)
surgery for the killer
Coronary Artery Heart
Disease (CAHD) were
necessitated by the high
risks and complications
of the older (CPB – like)
methods – including
1. the albeit rare deaths
on the operation table due
to massive blood loss /
fatal ex-sanguination
if a CPB circuit line
becomes disconnected;
2. the less rare deaths
on the table from clotting
of blood in the circuit – or air
inadvertently entering the
CPB circuit producing
air embolism – clot and or
air can block the circuit
(particularly the
oxygenator) or send a
clot into the patient and
fatally damage the
heart and / or the brain;
3. the rare Immediate
post – operative deaths
due to blood loss from
leaking / defective
suture lines and the Acute
Respiratory Distress
Syndrome; 4. the
Capillary leak syndrome and
Reperfusion Injury (the tissue
damage caused when
blood supply returns to the
tissue after a period of
ischemia or lack of oxygen.
The absence of oxygen and
nutrients from blood during
the ischemic period creates
a condition in which the
restoration of circulation
results in inflammation and
oxidative damage through
the induction of oxidative
stress rather than restoration
of normal function); 5. At
least a few survivors
suffered brain damage
leading to coma
(Unconscious state),
delirium (A temporary
state of mental
confusion and fluctuating
consciousness), paralysis,
speech disturbances etc.,
lung necrosis (breathing
troubles, blue skin
(cyanosis), blood in
sputum), kidney
damage, limb
gangrene etc.,
6. Blood cells in the Blood
may get physically
damaged – hemolysis -
when pumped through
the CPB leading to liver
/ kidney damage and the
resultant mortality and
morbidity; 7. Many survivors,
including celebrities like
former U.S. President
Bill Clinton and Vice-
President Dick Cheney,
have suffered the very subtle
Postperfusion syndrome
(aka Pumphead) – a
constellation of subtle
neurocognitive defects
including short term memory
impairment, stilted speech,
depression, confusion,
vision problems.and
diminished hand – eye
coordination, altered sex
drive, lessened inhibitions,
other personality changes,
defects associated with
attention, concentration,
problem solving, fine
motor function, and speed
of mental and motor responses.
Studies have shown a high
incidence of neurocognitive
deficit soon after surgery, but
the deficits are said to be
often transient with no
permanent neurological
impairment. The heart – lung
blood circulation system
and the connection surgery
itself release a variety of
debris into the bloodstream,
including bits of blood cells,
tubing, and plaque. For
example, when surgeons
clamp and connect the
aorta to tubing, resulting
emboli may block blood
flow and cause mini strokes.
Other heart surgery factors
related to mental damage
may be events of hypoxia,
high or low body temperature,
abnormal blood pressure,
irregular heart rhythms, and
fever after surgery.

As opposed to CPB CABG,
Beating-heart CABG surgery
has the following advantages:
•Better preservation of heart
function; •Better survival rate,
especially among high-risk
patients; •Reduced hospital
stay; •Quicker recovery;
•Less chance for heart
rhythm, kidney, or liver
complications
•Reduced risk for
neurological injury, including
stroke and memory
complications.

Even for diagnosing Coronary
artery disease, some risky
procedures are slowly being
given up in preference for
newer safer methods. The
risky treadmill ([sic] dreadmill)
test, where you are made to
run at speeds you are never
used to or will never have to
in your life to diagnose stress -
inducible ischemia and where
some feeble unsteady ones
have slipped and fallen to
fatal injuries, seems to have
no justification. After the
arrival of the much less risky
intravenous 64 slice CT
coronary angiography, why
would anybody offer the
older, unsafe groin /
elbow arterial puncture
catheter angiography
which has produced
1. catheter – dislodged
emboli carried in
circulation to blood vessels of
brain, heart, kidney, limbs etc.,
and block them producing
iatrogenic (= physician -
induced) strokes (Brain
Attacks), heart attacks,
kidney damage, limb gangrene
requiring amputation!; 2. clot
blockage of the punctured
major artery resulting in limb
gangrene, claudicating
(limping) pain etc.,; 3. neeedle
damage to and blockage of
adjacent veins leading to
varicose veins, limb swelling
(oedema) etc.,; 4. Needle
damage to adjacent major
nerves resulting in gnawing
nerve pain, numbness and
even paralysis!

Maybe I have disproportionately
but not wantonly highighted the
bad sides of heart surgery. But
that is sensational journalism -
aka blogging – Heard of,
“When a dog bites a man,
that is not news, because
it happens so often. But if a
man bites a dog, that is news!”
attributed to New York Sun
“It Shines for All”, editor
John B. Bogart (1848 –
1921) also to Charles
Anderson Dana (1819 –1897),
New York Sun editor and
part-owner between 1868
and 1897) and also to
Alfred Harmsworth, 1st
Viscount Northcliffe of
Saint Peter / the Isle of
Thanet (1865–1922), a
British newspaper and
publishing magnate, an
early pioneer of tabloid
journalism, primarily
appealing to the popular
taste – as in the 12th century
German proverb, “Whose
bread I eat, his song I sing!
Wessen Brot ich esse, des
Lied ich sing”! Alfred
Harmsworth, who had
achieved enough and
more ambitioned for more
and followed, “Hitch your
wagon to a star!” by the
bewitching writer Ralph
Waldo Emerson’s
(1803-1882) book called
Society and Solitude -
Chapter entitled “Civilization”,
but without knowing the
wisdom of the statement
made 80 years later by the
late Ronald Wilson Reagan
(1911 – 2004), the 40th
President of the United
States (1981–89), “It’s
true hard work never killed
anybody, but I figure, why
take the chance?”, vigourously
followed Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow’s (1807 –1882)
motivational poem,
“The heights by great men
reached and kept
were not attained by sudden flight,
but they, while their companions slept,
were toiling upward in the night.”,
toiling upward sleepless night
after night, literally burned
midnight oil and the candle
at both ends, Alfred
Harmsworth of course, failed
to achieve the unachievable -
Megalomania – and literally
went to the stars – died of a
nervous breakdown / broken heart -
at the “young” age of 57, young
for men of his stature in that era!
Hard work did not kill him but the
inevitably associated tension killed!
This proves the old saying,
“those whom the gods love
die young” in the Greek
mythologic story of Trophonius
aka Trofonio and also
“uem di diligunt, Adolescens
moritur” (he whom the gods
favour, dies young) Plautus
Bacchides l. 817; “Most happy
be they and best belouid of god,
that dye whan they be young”
1546 W. Hughe Troubled
Man’s Medicine B8V;
“Whom god loueth best,
those he taketh sonest”.
[1553 T. Wilson Art of Rhetoric
40V]; “Those that God loves,
do not live long.” [1651 G.
Herbert Jacula Prudentum no.
1094]; “‘Whom the gods love
die young’, was said of yore,
And many deaths do they
escape by this.” [1821
Byron Don Juan iv. xii.].
In stark contrast with this
was the saying “Those
whom the gods love grow
young!” by Oscar Fingal
O’Flahertie Wills Wilde
(1854 – 1900), Oscar Wilde
for short, an Irish writer and
poet, a compatriot and
contemporary of George
Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)
who was also an Irish playwright;
despite writing, “Those whom
the gods love grow young!”,
Wilde preceded George Bernard
Shaw in death – presumably
gods did not love Wilde -
Wilde’s compatriot commoners
and law – makers also did not
love Wilde – they arrested him,
tortured him, banished him,
exiled him, expatriated him
and repatriated him till he
had a nightmare. “I dreamt
that I had died, and was
supping with the dead!”
and soon afterwards died
of cerebral (Brain) meningitis,
syphilitic according to some
but pyogenic (pus – forming /
suppurative) from an old
suppuration of the right ear
(“une ancienne suppuration
de l’oreille droite d’ailleurs
en traitement depuis
plusieurs années”) and / or
a surgical intervention,
perhaps a mastoidectomy;
he died penniless and a
destitute in an alien land -
France – in Paris at the tender
age of forty-six!

I am not a maverick social
critic / whistle blower like
Ivan Illich or a fire brand like
Jan Rapoport to stir and fish
in troubled waters!

Let me continue with
Halcyon’s calm waters in the
next page!

See Naples and Die – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-VII

Welcome back to the old saying,

“See Naples and [sic] die!”.

This old adage handed to me in

a Tourist leaflet when I was about to

board a coach to Naples in 1970

made even me [- a die-hard

Never-Say-Die Optimist who

always booked a Return Ticket and never

took a Flight Insurance as pessimists and

weeping philosophers do (more of the

latter later in this blog)] to cancel my trip to

Naples – a much maligned yet beautiful city!      

 

Having escaped a possible curse of death

by cancelling my trip to Naples, I found that

I was in good company of many other

tourists who had shunned away from Naples

and, lo behold, a lot more citizens of Naples

who had deserted Naples and migrated to

greener and safer pastures – all out of fear

of chemical and physical injury / diseases /

death from five-pronged attacks by Naples

itself as detailed below:

 

1. the suffocating, stinking, stenching,

malodourous and highly pathogenic

(disease-laden) heaps and mounds of

uncleared garbage and putrid rubbish

(It’s frightening to see how quickly the

modern city that Naples was has been

swallowed by and drowned in its own

refuse / waste / garbage!) not just unsightly

but teeming with viruses, bacteria,

parasites, vermin and even reptiles –

found all along pedestrians’ / cyclists’

platforms, forcing the poor pedestrians

and cyclists to take to the roads meant

only for fast-moving, motorised vehicles;

 

2. the Greatest Imitator – the dreaded

(Pre-Penicillin-era’s) Killer venereal

(named after Venus (named from the

Latin noun venus (“sexual love” and

“sexual desire”) the Roman

equivalent of Greek Aphrodite and

the Roman Goddess of Love and

Prostitutes too and the mother of

cute little Cupid , the God of Desire,

armed with a bow and a quiver of

arrows which can shoot desire

into any soul – Cupid was also the

husband of Princess Psyche

(“Psyche” means “soul”) later

elevated to the status of a goddess

of Rome!) (Sexually Transmitted

Disease / STD) Disease Syphilis

(named after the first mythological

patient  with this disease, a Greek

Shepherd named Syphilus /

Si-pylus / Sifilo / Sunphileo

{Lover of Sun God Apollo),

 (described by Italian physician and

poet Hieronymus Girolamo

Fracastorius in his 1530 epic

poem entitled Syphilis, sive Morbus

Gallicus / “Syphilis or the French

Disease”. [Note: Each newly

affected country lost no time naming

the new disease after the

neighbouring country which

it suspected, usually with good

reason, of having been the source

of contamination.]. The French

called it the “Italian Disease”;

 the Russians called it the

“Polish disease”; the Turks

called it the “Christian disease”

or “Frank disease” (frengi);

the Tahitians called                                       

it the “British disease”; the

Poles called it “German

sickness”; the Portuguese

called it “the Castillian sickness”;

the Japanese and the peoples

of the East Indies came to call

it “the Portuguese sickness”;

the Dutch called it the “Spanish

disease” based on  a politically

useful perception that the Spanish

were immoral or unworthy!

Only the Spanish, oddly enough,

did not call it anything – GOK Why!)

- who, with his mother Niobe, 

rejected and then insulted the Sun

God Apollo and in response, the

deity was steamed at Niobe and

turned her into stone – The

“Weeping Rock” on Mount

Sipylus (now in Turkey) 

(See ManisaAglayanKaya

Weeping StoneTurkey.jpg)

and cursed her son, Syphilus,

to be afflicted with a disease,

the dreaded, horrendous

malady  (Syphilis) which

horribly disfigured him and

would have killed him too –

luckily in time the god forgave

Sifilo and cured him through

the use of a leafy tree he had

created called guaiacum,

the nymph Lipare also advised

the shepherd that mercury

could be used to cure the

disease! But by the time the

shepherd got cured, he and his

contacts(!!) had spread the

disease far and wide, even into

the Caribbean Islands

discovered (for the Europeans

of yore), colonised and

plundered by  the Italian “New 

World” Finder Christopher   

Columbus – eldest of three

Columbus brothers: Christopher,

Bartolomé, and Diego – (Columbus

didn’t discover America – the credit

belongs to  the much forged,

widely criticised and unjustifiably

maligned (by the fans of

Columbus as trying to upset

the glory of Columbus!)

Amerigo Vespucci, the

Man Who Gave His Name

to America, “America”,

probably deriving its name

from the feminized Latin

version of Vespucci’s first

name, himself also an

Italian and also honoured

by Spanish King Ferdinand

by being made Chief

Navigator of Spain and described

a voyage to South America

in 1501-1502 –  Mundus Novus).

Columbus and his crew

consisting of condemned /

murderous criminals in Spanish

prisons whom Spanish King

Ferdinand II of Aragon and

Queen Isabella I of Castile had

sent on the famous but dangerous

(in those times of measly sail

boats / ships like Columbus’

Santa María ex-Gallega and

the two smaller caravels, the

Pinta and the Santa Clara

paddling on the dangerous

Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

including the dreaded Bermuda

Triangle – more to come in a later

page) made, in 1492 A.D.,

their first  voyage “to India”

to get and bring back to Spain

the precious spices etc., with

the promise of a royal pardon and

freedom in return!, landed in what

Columbus thought was today’s

India but actually were today’s

West Indies / Caribbean Islands,

plundered the local treasures

(more to come in a later

page) and sexually abused the

natives and, in that process,

contracted the  Syphilus /

Si-pylus / Sifilo / Sunphileo

- transplanted Syphilis and

brought it back to Spain and then

to Italy – (Many of Columbus’

crew members who served on

his voyage later joined the army

of  King Charles VIII in his

invasion of Italy in 1495).

Columbus himself is said to

have died of Syphilis.

The notorious1494 – 1495

epidemic of Syphilis which

was started by Columbus and

colleagues later spread from

Naples and raged all over Europe

and even to other continents and

killed five million people.

Understandably “Naples”

has become a common

euphanism for Syphilis.

The impulsive, immoderate

and immoral ones among the

tourists will fall for the ranks

of the African and the

poverty-stricken native

underclass prostitutes

(courtesans / sex workers)

who line (as they do in all

the Red Light Areas of

Flesh Trade in all cities of

the world ) the ancient via

Domiziana of Naples as it

winds north out of the city.

These unfortunate souls –

in the pre-Penicillin era –

contracted Syphilis and met

their Maker! They “SAW”

NAPLES AND DIED! RIP!

 

Let me close this page on this

sordid note. The other killer

dangers lurking in Naples

and neighbourhood, waiting

to make a visitor die after

seeing Naples will wait

for the next page.

 

Take Heart!

 

Wish You “halcyon days” –

calm days! (more on this

too later!).

Italian Regatta -Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004-VI

“Hey! What day is it?”, I ask.

No answer!

I turn right and ask, “Hey! Quel jour est-ce ?”

No answer!

I turn left  and ask, “Hallöchen! Was für ein Tag es ist?”

No answer!

I look up (to God Almighty in heavens?!) and shout –

in many languages (God is Omniscient, U Know!

Omnilingual too, must be, perhaps, GOK!

Heard of the jet pilot who flew too high, looked

at the altimeter and swore loudly, “OMG!

Where have I come?”. – Pat came God’s reply

from the skies, “You have come to Hell’s Gates,

my son!”!) “Oye! ¿Qué día es? hei! Hvilken

dag er det Hallå! Vilken dag är det? hei!

Ce zi este!”.

Again a long eerie Silence! My heart shuddered

“Dhig! …Dhig!!…Dhig!!!…Dhig!!!!..Dhig!!!!!…”.

Apologetically and meekly (“Blessed are the meek,

for they will inherit the earth” – Matthew 5:5 – ? like

Atlas all the time and HercuIes for a short break for

Atlas), I moaned and groaned, ” Don’t look at me

askance! Frag mich schief! Ikke se på meg

askance!”, and went on to explain, “You see!

I ai’nt no lollapalooza! We, neurosurgeons (aka

“Nut Crackers”), operating on injured / sick

human brains for hours together, do sometimes

lose track of time and even days and dates!

So we need help!” – forecalling what I am going

to say in a later page on clock and calendar

for neurosurgeons!

That did it! (Ask and it will be given to you;

seek and you will find! –  Matthew 7:7)!

Out came replies in multiple languages from

all directions including the sky above, (as

Rigveda, the oldest of the four Hindu Vedas,

said, roughly between 1700 – 1100 BCE,

“Let Good Thoughts come to us from all over

the Universe” – Transliterated  from Sanskrit –

“Aano Bhadhraha Krathavo Yanthu

Vishvathaha!”) “It is Wednesday!!

C’est mercredi!! Es ist Mittwoch!!

È mercoledì! Este miercuri!!  

Det er onsdag!!  Det är onsdag!! “

Yeah, It is Wednesday!!

So I remembered line 3  (refrain – poetic –

repeated) of the song,  “If It’s Tuesday

It Must Be Belgium” penned by

Donovan Leitch and sung beautifully by 22

years old Bojoura – born Raina Cleuver van

Melzen 1947 – in the 1969 movie “If It’s

Tuesday It Must Be Belgium” – which goes,

“If it’s Wednesday, this must be Rome!”!

 Eureka! I caught back the thread of this

blog – If it’s Wednesday, this must be

Rome!  Il doit s’agir de Rome!! Rom ist

muss es!! Deve essere Roma!! 

Trebuie sa fie Roma!! Det må være

Roma!! Debe ser Roma!!  Det måste

vara Rom!!

So Back to women doctors of ancient Rome whom we left at the

end of the previous page.

But before I chaperon you around Rome, some strict caveats!

Gone are the days of the old saying, “All roads lead to Rome!”!

A. If you take the wrong road —–>>

1. you may land up in Venice and get pooped in face by the pigeons of

St.Mark’s Square (These Pigeon droppings are said to be so

detrimental to the monumental sculptures there that feeding the

pigeons by tourists has been banned!

Do you see the glee in the faces of the popular bassist Jared Followill

and the other three members of the popular and Grammy award-

winning band, Kings of Leon, who were forced to end a concert

in Verizon Ampitheater in St. Louis, Missouri USA on the night of 23-24

July, 2010 after playing just three songs,  the last being “Taper Jean

Girl,” because of an intolerable torrential downpour – not of rain but…– 

of bird poop – by pigeons living in / infesting the rafters of the

Ampitheater – one pigeon hit Jared in the cheek and pooped – some of

the poop landed near his mouth – reflex knee – jerk reaction of wiping

the poop by Jared took it further in, maybe, into his mouth! The band

bailed out since “it was too unsanitary to continue. FULL REFUNDS 4

ALL. SO SORRY. Don’t take it out on Jared, it’s the f**king venue’s

fault. You may enjoy being s**t on but we don’t. Sorry for all who

traveled many miles.”! KoL‘s glee about ban on pigeons will be shared

also by the Civic Administration of Texas which is also plagued by

acidic bird droppings –  A few friendly birds sharing Texans’ lunch etc.,

became a nightmare like the famous Alfred Hitchcock’s horror movie –

The Birds (1963)!        

B. If you take the wrong road —–>>                                        

2. You may land up in the romantic (Adjective derived from “Roman” –

“Rome”) city of Verona – the home of the romantic Romeo (whose

name means “Pilgrim to Rome”) and his second but better-balanced

love (should I say “wife”, because they got married before committing

suicide on a pact), Juliet.

C. If you take the wrong road —–>>

3. You may land up in Naples and you will ….( s..o..r..r..y ….) d…..i….e!

R.I.P!

So goes the old saying, “See Naples and die!”.

Let us us postpone the sorrow of demise to the next page, OK?!!

Women Doctors – Ancient – Greece Egypt – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004 – V.

Back to women doctors of yore whom we left at the end of the previous page. 

Greeks had gods AND goddesses for various aspects of health and disease. 

Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek religion had five daughters, all worshipped  as goddesses in their own right, for various aspects  of health and disease:1. Hygieia (“Hygiene”, the goddess / personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation); 2. Laso (the goddess of recuperation from illness); 3. Aceso (the goddess of the healing process); 4. Aglæa / Ægle (the goddess of beauty, splendor, glory, magnificence, and adornment) and 5.Panacea (the goddess of universal remedy) – what some people have been seeking from time immemorial even these days even risking their lives!

The ancient Scholarly Greek writer Homer {heard of the Proverb “Sometimes / Even Homer Nods!” [as in Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65-8 BC), Roman lyric poet during the time of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus, aka Horace's verse: "quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus" (Ars Poetica. v. 359)]]. meaning the same as “To Err is human”)} [who lived in the 7th / 8th Century - close on the heels of the historic / mythological Trojan war - fought in Troy - between Trojans (not to be confused with the present day Computer menaces called Trojans) of Troy and Acheans / Greeks triggered by the Trojan King Paris abducting Helen, the beatiful queen of Greek Spartan King Menelaus - (the story of which has been  literally flogged to death by Hollywood movies even as late as 2011!) just like the Hindu Epic Ramayana war was  triggered by the Lankan scholarly, 10-headed, Rakshash King Raavan abducting Sita, the beatiful queen of Ayodhya King-in-exile Sri Rama], and authored the two ancient Greek epics, Iliad and Odyssey,]} mentions Mythological Agamede (c. twelfth century BC), also called Perimede, as a great Greek woman physician of yore – a Princess by birth in Elis to Epeans’ King Augeas, Queen by marriage to the warrior king Mulius and Queen-mother by bearing the heroic trio Belus, Actor, and Dictys. She was acquainted with the healing powers of all the plants that grow upon the earth.

All good things come to an end – often a gory end, you know! By the Hellenistic period (c. 4th to 1st centuries BC), Agamede had become a sorceress(Satanic Witch)-figure,  much like Titan minor goddesses of magic Hecate,Circe, Medea and the like!

After all in ancient medicine (and even today in African Voodoo medicine,  some types of Alternative medicine etc., all over the world) the dividing line between medicine and mysticism was very very thin and tenuous and faith-healing played a major role!

Among ancient Greek women physicians, after Mythological Agamede and apocryphal Agnodike, came Phaenarete from Acharnai in Attica who was the mother of the Greek philosopher Socrates (469–399 B.C.).The name Phaenarete means “She who brings virtue to light”. She was both a midwife (maia) and a doctor (iatros).

Socrates compared his own work as a philosopher [helping his own budding philosopher-students (like Plato, who was later the teacher of Aristotle who, much later, was the teacher of Alexander the Great of Macedonia) to deliver great philosophical  concepts] with his mother’s work as a midwife [helping women to deliver children]! .

Ancient Egypt had prominent woman doctors like Peseshet  (approximately 3100 – 2100 B.C.) who was not only a physician in her own right, but was also the supervisor and administrator of an entire body of female physicians; Merit Ptah (2700 BC), described in an inscription as “chief physician” and another notable Egyptian woman who made her mark on the field of obstetrics and gynecology in the second century A.D., named Cleopatra (not the long-dead former Queen) who wrote extensively about pregnancy, childbirth, and women’s health. The last-mentioned Egyptian woman physician Cleopatra’s writings were consulted and studied for over 1000 years. 

Over to ancient woman physicians of the Roman Empire – in the next page, of course!

So long!

Male Chauvinism – FDA-APPROVED DRUGS KILL – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004 – IV.

Back to male chauvinism in Hammurabi’s days, Circa 1,760 BCE,  when medical profession was out and out a male bastion, women could just be patients – at best, midwives who assisted delivery of kids!

Maybe the meagre rewards coupled with stringent punishments for men of medicine discouraged Babylonian men from taking to medical profession, as in about 450 B.C. Herodotus (a traveling trader and writer) says that “Babylon had no doctors. Instead, sick people were put out in the market place and anyone passing by could discuss the illness or injury and recommend a treatment he himself had devised, experienced or heard about.”!

This happens all over the world even today, eh?!

Around this time Greece had not lagged behind in prohibiting women from practising medicine although there were many goddesses in Greek Mythology – most of them mere wives of gods – just a few standing on their own, – like Gaia, Aphrodite, Venus etc., – yet bearing children of male gods!

In ancient Greece women and slaves  were prohibited from practising medicine – errant women were punished with death – by being burnt on stakes as witches!

Heard of Agnodice or Agnodike – ?3rd century BC – who was probably the earliest historical, and likely apocryphal  Greek woman of Athens, who, horrified by and unable to bear women patients dying miserably by refusing to be treated by male physicians,  was prepared to risk her own death to save lives of myriads of women patients, disguised herself in men’s clothing, and attended the lectures of a physician named Hierophilus. Women refused her service until she told them that she was a woman. Afterwards, when she became very successful, the jealous male practitioners dragged her to the Areopagus, the high Court of Appeal for criminal and civil cases  in Athens, and accused her of corrupting the morals of her patients. Upon her refuting this charge by making known her sex, she was immediately accused of having violated the existing law prohibiting women from practising medicine, and was sentenced to death! Luckily she was saved by a mass female uprising in her behalf by  the very rich and influential wives of the chief persons in Athens, whom she had attended, who mass-marched to the court and threatened to take their own lives if she was killed. The judges relented because some of their own family members were her patients. Agnodice was let off and the impugned law prohibiting women practising medicine, was abolished; women were thereafter allowed to practice medicine but restricted to the treatment of women and children and to be paid a stipend for their service.

Ancient Egypt was not far behind in male chauvinism. Granted they had many goddesses  all beside their gods – not many stood on their own! Same thing applied to their Empresses and Queens all beside their Emperors / Pharohs / Kings -[including the famous enchantress Cleopatra VII Philopator (69 – 30 B.C.E.) who, clung to her throne as the  last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Greeks, by the charm she turned first on the Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar and then on his successor Mark Antony but failed with Caesar’s legal heir, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus) as a rival to whom she planted, with the support of Antony, her own son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion, as the Roman Emperor! After losing the Battle of Actium to Octavian’s forces, Antony committed suicide. Cleopatra followed, according to tradition, killing herself by an asp bite on August 12, 30 B.C.E.

No doubt Egyptian Pharaohs installed statues of their better halves beside theirs but the ratio of man-to-woman-statue height was discriminantly telling! The four colossal statues of of Ramesses II the Great at the Great Temple at Abu Simbel measure  20 meters in height while his first queen Nefertari Merytmut’s midget of a statue, which stands beside the colossus, measures no higher than halfway up the legs of the pharaoh – barely 3 meters maybe!

Pop King Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time” also depicts Nefertari being dependent on the Pharaoh even to arrange entertainment for herself! When bored she hisses “ushshshsh!” to attract attention to her being bored and when her Pharaoh, immersed in his own cup of wine, ignores her ushshshsh, she has to request the Pharaoh to help her, saying, “I am bored! I want to be entertained! Can my Pharaoh find some way to entertain  his queen?!”! Thereupon, the great pharoah’s handclap brings a row of three entertainers and when the queen finds the third magical song-and-dance entertainer (played by Michael and singing ” Do You Remember When We Fell In Love We Were Young And Innocent Then…..Remember The Times”) is her childhood friend and responds to his hand-kissing gesture by holding out her left hand with the palm facing downward for Michael to hand-kiss her knuckles and thereupon the jealous Pharaoh erupts like a volcano ordering the guards to arrest Michael, who magically eludes them and decides to “wait until dark” (as in the 1967 thriller movie led by the one and only Audrey Hepburn) and then sneaks into the chamber of the sorrowing queen suffering from pangs of separation from the childhood lover and gets a warm hug and a long lip-kiss!

Ancient Egypt did not have chastity belts!

Michael Jackson’s “Remember the time” uses the word “phone” twice – once in line 28, “We’d Stay On The Phone” and a second time in line 72, “On The Phone You And Me”. Did phones exist in ancient Egypt? Is this an example of poetic licence or the (Trio) lyricists (-Teddy Riley, Michael Jackson and Bernard Belle)’s inadvertent / deliberate goof? I have posted this question in http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index too! Can somebody tell me?

Of course ancient Egypt did have a few female doctors – Peseshet, Merit Ptah, and one named Cleopatra (not to be confused with Pharaoh Cleopatra VII Philopator) – but they all added up to just a handful – countable with your fingers!

More about them and other women doctors of yore in the pages to follow!

Stay tuned!

Doctor’s Devils – FDA-APPROVED DRUGS KILL – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004 – III.

The Code of Hammurabi, Circa 1,760 BCE, which we left with a mere mention in the last page, lists in crisp and precise terms various offences of those days, by people of different walks of life and also the punishments for them. Hammurabi details the fees chargeable by  surgeons for various operations and also the punishments for the surgeons if the operations fail (leaving no room for today’s aphorism, Operation Successful! BUT Patient Died!!”).

Hammurabi conformed with the social inequalities / stratifications prevailing in those ancient eras – [and even in the much later and more recent days of United States Declaration of Independence – adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 -Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the above Declaration, an American Founding Father and the third President of the United States (after George Washington and John Adams) and many of the 56 delegates to the Continental Congress who signed the above Declaration themselves owned slaves who were physically restrained with grades of restraints like handcuffs, fetters, leg irons (shackles),  leg cuffs, waist chains, straitjackets, hog-ties, straddle split suspension etc., and whipped and branded with red hot iron (!) so much so that the famous British Abolitionist (Anti-slavery Campaigner),Thomas Day (1748 -1789, co-author of “The Dying Negro”,  – his first published work and sole author of  “The History of Sandford and Merton”) responded to the hypocrisy in the Declaration by writing, “If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves!”!

But you can understand that all of them had to do all this because they had to live with their times, as most of us do now – Do in Rome as Romans do!

Without any more ado, (remember William Shakespeare’s marvelous comedy, “Much Ado about Nothing”?), let us see some quick examples of what Hammurabi did / said in this context:

 

Hammurabi stratified the recipients of social and professional services / interactions and victims of social and professional negligences / crimes into 3 levels- aristocrat (patrician), commoner (plebeian) and slave and detailed the variegated rewards / punishments for perperators of those acts as in the following examples:

 

“If a surgeon has operated with the bronze lancet on a patrician for a serious injury, and has cured him, or has removed with a bronze lancet a cataract for a patrician, and has cured his eye, he shall take ten shekels of silver.” 

 

One shekel of silver of Hammurabi’s era is about US $5/- today – that was lot of money in those eras when today’s evils – consumerism (People purchasing goods and consuming materials in excess of their basic needs), its cohort Modern globalization (It’s a small world!) and the resultant inflation (Money value sliding down) – did not exist in such large scale as they do in today’s world!

 

Hammurabi continues:

 

” If it be a plebeian, he shall take five shekels of silver. If it be a man’s slave, the owner of the slave shall give two shekels of silver to the surgeon.”

 

Punishments for surgeons also varied according to the social status of the victim!

 

Hammurabi continues: 

 

“If he has removed a cataract with the bronze lancet, ,and made the slave lose his eye, he shall pay half his value.  If the surgeon has treated a serious injury of a plebeian’s slave, with the bronze lancet, and has caused his death, he shall render slave for slave. If a surgeon has operated with the bronze lancet on a patrician for a serious injury, and has caused his death, or has removed a cataract for a patrician, with the bronze lancet, and has made him lose his eye, his hands shall be cut off.”!

 

Apart from socio-economic bios, Hammurabi also was biassed favourably towards the non-operating doctors – physicians – of his times who treated patients with non-surgical means – like potions and magic, as indeed were the cultures of those eras. This was because the illnesses treated by surgeons, such as wounds, were due to direct human  error or aggression, and the doctors who treated them by surgery were regarded as merely craftsmen such as a boat builder and by analogy, the penalties for medical negligence were similar to those incurred by a shipbuilder, who manufactured a defective vessel that sank according to the legal code of Hummurabi! Contrarily,  internal  disorders  treated without surgery were  believed to be caused  by  supernatural  agents, the physicians who  wrestled  with  such diseases were accountable only to  the  gods – not to the mortals including Hammurabi!.The physicians, who dealt with problems that would today be called ‘‘internal medicine,’’ were of the priestly class and  their professional  conduct was not  governed  by the criminal  laws pertaining  to assault  and malpractice.

 

Witness the English tradition of addressing physicians with the salutation, “Dr.” while the surgeons are addressed with the less awesome salutation, “Mr.” like the commoners generally are – maybe because today’s surgeons are, historically, the professional descendants of the medieval barber-surgeons who themselves were, historically, the professional descendants of the ancient barbers, who, apart from giving services as tonsorial artists – barbers -, often performed minor operations like removal of corns and callosities from feet and even major surgical procedures in those ancient times.The ancient Society of Barbers grew into The Royal Society of Barbers -> The Royal Society of Barber-Surgeons -> The Royal Society of Surgeons -> ultimately the present prestigious The Royal College of Surgeons!

 

As a proud Fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons (F.R.C.S.,), I often remember my professional lineage from barbers and offer services like theirs to myself and kids around – hair-cut etc., with awful results, needless to mention!

 

Hammurabi, the subject of this page, had gender bias too – male chauvinism, again typical of his times and, unfortunately, still not extinct!

 

That will be an SFAD – Story For Another Day!

 

Heydays & Doomsdays -FDA-APPROVED DRUGS KILL – Positive Health For All krishnanlogamuthu 0004 – II.

All of us, from the lowliest to the topmost, without exceptions, encounter, in the course of our lives – Ups and Downs, Crests and Troughs, Ladders and Snakes, Heydays and Doomsdays.

Members of the oldest and second oldest professions were / are /  will be no exception!

Members of the oldest profession were, in their heydays, de facto rulers / demi-goddesses – Empresses and Queens – while they were,in their doomsdays, condemned – to be stoned to death under the Law of Moses, unless they were lucky enough like the Biblical (?Mary Magdalene / ?Mary of Bethany – read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Magdalene#Identification_as_Mary_of_Bethany ) prostitute,  to be saved by a Saviour like Jesus Christ (“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her!” – John 8:7 - King James Bible 1611) -OR- to be burnt in the stakes -OR- to be drowned in Styx unhelped to cross over to Hades (meaning “the unseen”) by anybody, not even the Boatman Charon / Kharon (See the nice pic Lytovchenko Olexandr Kharon.jpg at the Wikipedia URL given in the next line below: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lytovchenko_Olexandr_Kharon.jpg).

How did the members of the second oldest – medical – profession fare in this context?

History is replete with the names of ancient Physicians who were, in their heydays, de facto rulers / demi-gods – like Imhotep (circa 2650-2600 BC), the Egyptian who may have lived under as many as four kings as physician [some 2,200 years before the Western Father of Medicine, Hippocrates (Heard of the sacred Hippocratic Oath sworn to doctors before embarking on medical practice, albeit long-forgotten in these evil-ridden days of Kali Yuga or "age of vice"), was born!]-cum-high priest-cum-scribe -cum-poet-cum-astrologer-cum-carpenter-cum-engineer-cum-architect (built the first pyramid, Pharaoh Zoser / Djoser’s Step Pyramid complex at Saqqara)-cum-first one under the king-cum-Vizier-cum-Chief Minister to Pharaoh Zoser / Djoser who, as the second king of Egypt’s third dynasty, reigned from 2630 BC to 2611 BC.

Imhotep was a master of many trades and phenomenally highly instructive and constructive. A very different type of star-ruler, by the name of Hammurabi – highly regulative, restrictive and even punitive – rose on the horizons of Babylon, received the royal insignia – mandate to rule Babylon – directly from the Babylonian God, Shamash and by his wise edicts like the not-so-well-remembered-these-days The Code of Hammurabi Circa 1,760 BCE, [which preceded, by 1300 years,  the now-well-remembered-albeit-blatantly-violated-by-many-unscrupulous  physicians-of-today, The Hippocratic oath, a part of The Hippocratic Corpus (Latin: Corpus Hippocraticum) by the Greek Physician, Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos c. 460 BC – c. 370 BC), widely regarded as the "Father of Medicine" - at least Western Medicine], influenced even Egypt, Greece and the rest of  near-east of those ancient days.  

More on Hammurabi and others will be an SFAD – Story For Another Day! 

OK Follks! Cya soon(er or later), God willing!