Health Advice



After Unplanned Hospital Visit, Another Unpleasant Surprise

Scott LaFee on

Medical History

This week in 1827, the School Committee for the city of Boston voted to require public school students to show they'd had a smallpox vaccination prior to school entrance. Certificates for free vaccination were issued to the board of health when necessary. The initiative came three decades after Edward Jenner's discovery of a method to immunize against smallpox. Massachusetts passed the first school vaccination law in 1855, followed by New York (1862) and Connecticut (1872).

Perishable Publications

Many, if not most, published research papers have titles that defy comprehension. They use specialized jargon, complex words and opaque phrases like "nonlinear dynamics." Sometimes they don't, and yet they're still hard to figure out. Here's an actual title of an actual published research study: "Patient Preference for Waxed or Unwaxed Dental Floss."

An Air Force dentist recruited 100 volunteers to sample brands of similar-appearing waxed and unwaxed dental floss. The cohort preferred waxed 79% to 21%. A second group was tested with similar preferences. Then, because science always has more questions, the dentist tested mint-flavored waxed floss versus plain waxed, with 56% favoring mint.

But the findings, published in the Feb. 1, 1990, issue of the Journal of Periodontology, may be suspect, since most of the participants claimed to floss regularly.


Q: How many wisdom teeth do people have?

A: There is no fixed number, but there is a limit. It's possible for people to have one, two, three, four or none at all. Wisdom teeth serve no useful purpose in the modern diet and appear to be evolving themselves into oblivion. Thousands of years ago, however, when human ancestors "enjoyed" a much tougher, more fibrous diet, the number of wisdom teeth might have reached 12.

Sum Body

Your digestive system consists of 10 organs, top to bottom:

1. Salivary glands.

2. Pharynx.


3. Esophagus.

4. Stomach.

5. Small intestine.

6. Large intestine.

7. Liver.

8. Gallbladder.

9. Pancreas.

10. Rectum.

Last Words

"My troubles are all over. And I am home." -- American author and animal rights activist Cleveland Amory (1917-1998), quoting lines from Anna Sewall's novel "Black Beauty." Amory was buried at his Texas ranch, also called Black Beauty.


To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Copyright 2020 Creators Syndicate Inc.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Mike Luckovich One Big Happy Take It From The Tinkersons Mother Goose & Grimm Arctic Circle Jimmy Margulies