World’s Strangest

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11 Memories of Not-So-Modern Medicine

Medicines and medical practices have come a long way. Here are some items that have vanished from medicine cabinets in the last few decades. 1. Mercurochrome Most folks over the age of 30 have never heard of this topical antiseptic. But many of us Boomers begged mom to daub our cuts and scrapes with the relatively painless [...]

What Do Snakes and Sticks Have to Do With Doctors?

If you’ve ever seen the World Health Organization or American Medical Association logo, or the “star of life” on the side of an ambulance, you might have wondered what a snake wrapped around a stick has to do with those who fix what ails us. Well, that stick is the asklepian, or rod of Asclepius. In [...]

How Dead Is a Doornail?

by Mike Dubik, MD Brian Wood, MD For hundreds, if not thousands, of years it has been accepted as an axiom that inanimate objects, such as nails, are dead. This self-evident truth has been expressed in the phrase: “dead as a doornail.” Thus, someone who is unequivocally dead is said to be “dead as a doornail.” Advanced life [...]

If You Walk Fast, You’ll (Probably) Live a Long Life

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that a useful predictor of how long older adults live is how fast they walk. According to the report, people who walked 1 meter per second (about 2.25 mph) or faster consistently lived longer than others of their age and sex who walked [...]

Santa’s Sleighful of Problems

Think you’ve got problems? They ain’t nothin’ compared to Santa’s problems. Bella English of Boston.com outlines the sleighful of problems that the jolly Saint Nick has got: Just the other day, the American Medical Association released a study showing Santa’s body mass index to be “dangerously high’’ at 30 percent, which makes him obese, which puts [...]