Those Lyin' Eyes
This week in 1983, Barney C. Clark (born 1921), the first recipient of a permanent artificial heart, died at the University of Utah Medical Center after living 112 days with the device. Doctors said Clark's death resulted from massive circulatory collapse. Clark was 61.
Ig Nobel Apprised
The Ig Nobel Prizes celebrate achievements that make people laugh and then think, a look at real science that's hard to take seriously and even harder to ignore.
In 1993, the Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine went to James F. Nolan, Thomas J. Stillwell and John P. Sands, all medical men of mercy, for their painstaking study "Acute Management of the Zipper-Entrapped Penis," published in The Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Five kinds of kidney stones (all painful):
1. Calcium oxalate stones are the most common, a mix of calcium in urine and the compound oxalate, which is found naturally in foods like nuts, chocolate and some vegetables. Oxalate is also produced by the liver.
2. Calcium phosphate stones are linked to people who take the seizure medicine topiramate.
3. Struvite stones are fast-growing mineral deposits that develop as a result of a urinary tract infection.
4. Uric acid stones result from people who eat a lot of red meat, shellfish and organ meats, which contain the organic compound purine, which in turn may trigger more uric acid than the kidneys can excrete.
5. Cystine stones are caused by a rare hereditary disorder in which kidneys excrete excessive amounts of the amino acid cysteine.
"Jeez, he was just here a minute ago." -- American comedian George Carlin (1937-2008). This was Carlin's suggestion for a tombstone epitaph. In fact, after his death, he was cremated.
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