Shawn Vestal: medical journal adorns hallways of silly science for the season
As we come to the end of a year that has left many of us short on âcomfort, sparkle and space to imagine a better future,â we might look to an unusual place for a bit. of holiday cheer.
A medical journal.
The BMJ – commonly referred to as the British Medical Journal – compiles an annual Christmas editing, and this year is a humdinger, filled with “research” on head injuries in nursery rhyme characters, the long-term health prospects of aging superheroes, a dictionary of slang usage in nursery rhymes. intensive care units and a review of the dangers of vacationing plants.
âIf your true love gave you a pear tree (or 12) this Christmas, we urge you to be careful; don’t eat the seeds, âreads an excerpt fromâ Holly and Ivy: The Dangers of Festive Plants During the Holidays â.
âPears (Pyrus spp) are one of many stone fruits, seeds or stones that contain amygdalin, which is metabolized to cyanide compounds in the gastrointestinal tract via emulsin. â¦ There are no reports of human cyanide poisoning resulting from the consumption of pear seeds, although the fruit of 12 trees may be sufficient.
The BMJ Christmas issue is a combination of fake, fake science and real science, of sorts, on fancy topics.
It also includes a few serious articles, including one that explains how we’ll know when the pandemic is truly over (‘when we turn off our screens and decide other issues deserve our attention again’) and how we might use the COVID crisis. to rethink our way of life (“If we want the post-pandemic world to be better than what came before it, we have to think big. We need our own utopias, as well as our own alternative visions of a future of health care. â)
But the best parts are the fanciest. Take âWe All Fall: Head Injuries in Nursery Rhyme Charactersâ.
âSeven popular nursery rhymes implicating or suspected of involving fall-related head injuries deserve close examination (Table 1),â the newspaper read. âThe injured figures were humans of various ages, five little monkeys and an anthropomorphic egg. Head injuries were usually from falls – one was even linked to the seemingly harmless daily activity of going to bed.
The article includes chapters titled “Jack and Jill: The Demographics of Head Injury” and “Rock a Bye Baby: Child Product Abuse”.
âAs the cradles are not designed, tested and certified for falls – from tree tops or elsewhere – its impact resistance is unknown and may be inadequate,â wrote author Declan A. Patton, researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Or consider “Anticipating the Aging Trajectory of Superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
âSpider-Man’s spider-related abilities, including strength, flexibility and agility, are expected to reduce his risk of falls in old age,â wrote the authors, an Australian team.
âWith much of Spider-Man’s crime-fighting taking place at night, he’s unlikely to get the 8-10 hours of sleep recommended for teens his age. Poor sleep in adolescence can lead to obesity, poor mental health, higher levels of pain and fatigue, and higher incidents of unintentional injury.
After assessing the health of Hulk, Black Widow, and Black Panther, the authors suggest a new direction for the modern superhero.
âTo date, the combined efforts of Marvel superheroes have focused on issues such as maintaining the security of the multiverse, modulating human consciousness, creating artificial intelligence, and developing technologies to facilitate space travel. We suggest that they focus on challenges, such as how to provide high quality health and social care to a large and aging population and preventing frailty and dementia. This would allow people in the multiverse, including superheroes, to enjoy a high quality of life in old age. “
An article reported on a population cohort study investigating whether there was an association between “heavy metal toxicity” – defined in this case as the density of heavy metal groups in a city – and an incidence higher in certain types of injuries and mortality.
He found that there was none; in fact, âvibrant local heavy metal scenes – comparable to other forms of cultural capital – could help promote health through healthier lifestyles, better coping mechanisms and a stronger sense of connection. community â.
Come on, and merry Christmas.