Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Roundup: Jane Austen's arsenic poisoning, breastfeeding and bones, dog bites that trigger pregnancy, and a cranky crab

Jane Austen. Engraving via Wikimedia Commons, in the U.S. public domain.

Curious about how climate has changed over the long term--the very, very long term? This video from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration puts it all into perspective:



  • Jane Austen poisoned by arsenicA mystery author claims that all signs point to arsenic poisoning as the cause of Jane Austen's death. The rationales that treatments with arsenic may have been fatal are plausible, but how about the idea that it was...murder?
  • Peanut butter recalled for Salmonella concerns, but no illnesses reported.
  • In other recall news, Kotex tampons also have been recalled for bacterial contamination. Please read.
  • You may have heard that when women spend a lot of time together, their cycles synchronize. You may have heard wrong, and Kate Clancy tells us why.
  • Birth control: Not just about sex. According to a report, many, many women use birth control for reasons having nothing to do with...birth control.
  • This just in: Girls can be engineers, too.
  • Chilling trauma patients to save them. Trauma surgeons may be turning to deep chilling their patients to stop their bleeding to death before livesaving surgery can be completed. 
If you found the climate change video depressing, how about some astronauts falling down on the moon? Watching smart courageous people fall over is always entertaining, right?

  • Bones and breastfeeding fads. Would you consider giving your baby pap, "a mixture of flour or bread crumbs cooked in milk or water, or a bread broth called panada, or milk flavoured with spices, sugar, or eggs? These bones tell the story of breastfeeding practices before our time.
  • Ever wondered why smells--like baking cookies or a pinewood fire in the grate--are so evocative and memory stirring? Here's why.
  • Perhaps you've heard about fecal transplants--they are exactly what they sound like--and thought, "Ewwww." The thing is, they seem to work, but as Maryn McKenna writes, they are not easy to come by.
  • Rick Perry's debate brain freeze: Parents, you know this happens to you, too, just not on national television. In a presidential debate.
  • In the downer category, orangutans in Indonesia killed by the hundreds every year.
  • Remember when ketchup became a vegetable in the Reagan years? Now Congress wants to add pizza sauce to that category. Someone should tell Congress that there are no do-overs on a healthy childhood.
  • For your "Weirdest News of the Day" reading: People in this village genuinely believe that a dog bite can trigger pregnancy--in men or women--with puppies. It is mass hysteria.
  • Have you been reading confusing and conflicting information about the HPV vaccineHere's a piece that clears all of that up. 

And finally, we give you this crab because it made us laugh. And laugh. Feel free to suggest captions.

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