An editorial in the 200th anniversary issue of the New England Journal of Medicine looks at mortality and health through the centuries, and includes this chart of causes of death from the turn of the last century, which makes for quite a comparison. We're doing great on kidneys, but hearts not so much.
During the 20th century, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions assumed more dominant roles (see bar graphTop 10 Causes of Death: 1900 vs. 2010.), although outbreaks of infectious disease — from eastern equine encephalitis (1938) and kuru (1957) to legionnaires' disease (1977), AIDS (1981), and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (1993) — necessitated ongoing vigilance against microbes. New concerns also came to medical attention, from the terrifying consequences of thermonuclear war (1962) to the indolent but devastating effects of environmental pollution (1966) and climate change (1989). Optimism about prospects for the health of future populations persisted but remained tempered by concern about the pathologies of civilization. An obesity epidemic, feared in 1912, has come to pass. Our previously steady increase in life expectancy has stalled and may even be reversed (2005).
The Burden of Disease and the Changing Task of Medicine
(via Beth Pratt)
Last month, I posted about “witch bottles” — containers of curious items like human teeth, fish hooks, glass shards, and undetermined liquid — sometimes found in chimneys or inside walls of old buildings where they were placed to ward off evil spells, spirits, and curses. Turns out that there’s a new book — “Magical House […]
Writing at Metropole, Sarah Balakrishnan describes the development of cemeteries in a city in Ghana. As of the 1800’s, the general practice in the seaside city of Accra was to bury the dead underneath the family’s home. Around 1888, British colonists began forcing the populace to bury the dead in public cemeteries. The requirement served […]
Presumably coming soon to ESPN’s “The Ocho” is some version of this 200-year old tradition in Malta held in honor of St Julian the Hospitaller: In the tournament, known as Gostra to the Maltese, a 16 meter-pole is covered by 15 liters of lard and fixed at an angle from the promenade into the sea. […]
For some folks, writing notes by hand is just plain easier, but having to re-type them later can be a huge bore, not to mention time-sink. The guys from Rocketbook successfully merged the best parts of analog and digital note-taking with their Everlast notebook awhile back. And now, that tech just got a lot more […]
There are fast-paced card games, and some of them even require enough dexterity for a mini-workout (like Skip-Bo or Snap). But there’s nothing quite like the Mokuru® Card Game, which uses an already addictive fidget toy as the centerpiece for a cutthroat game of tabletop challenges. The game is named for the toy that gets […]
People who ask themselves why they need a dashcam usually have one thing in common: They’ve never been a serious collision. Even in fender benders, these gadgets can save you an immense amount of time and hassle, stopping headaches before they even start. If you’re looking for a reliable starter cam, the myGEKOgear Orbit 110 […]