To Be or to Be Someone Else

Identity crises have been around as long as identities and crises, but they weren’t identified as a medical affliction until the early 1960s (by an unidentified psychiatrist). The official medical term was, and still is, I Want to Be Somebody Else Syndrome, but Identity Crisis sounds less silly and has become the label of choice for most psychiatrists and laymen. …

Pigtails, Duckbills and Roasted Guinea Pigs

The invention of the duckbill speculum in 1845 revolutionized gynaecology. Up until then, doctors had been using the bills of actual ducks (usually dead ones). American doctor and animal rights activist J. Marion Sims felt there had to be a better way and set out to find it. After numerous experiments on volunteers (South Carolina slaves volunteered by their owners, …

Two Philips Curling Irons

I don’t like to leave things to chance, but I really don’t have a choice, do I? So I really appreciate the happy coincidences chance sometimes serves up. A couple of months back, while reorganizing my storage area, I discovered I had two Philips curling irons that looked remarkably alike. They were bought on separate occasions, though I can’t recall …