March 21, 2011
BehindTheMedspeak: Soviet surgeon removes his own appendix — in Antarctica
Alexis Madrigal's March 14, 2011 atlantic.com post features a remarkable, little-known event that occurred 50 years ago; excerpts follow.
If you think House and the guy who James Franco played in "127 Hours" are tough, you haven't heard of Leonid Rogozov [top].
In 1961, Rogozov was stationed at a newly constructed Russian base in Antarctica. The 12 men inside were cut off from the outside world by the polar winter by March of that year. In April, the 27-year-old Rogozov began to feel ill, very ill. His symptoms were classic: he had acute appendicitis. "He knew that if he was to survive he had to undergo an operation," the British Medical Journal recounted. "But he was in the frontier conditions of a newly founded Antarctic colony on the brink of the polar night. Transportation was impossible. Flying was out of the question, because of the snowstorms. And there was one further problem: he was the only physician on the base."
There was no question that he'd have to operate. The pain was intolerable and he knew he was getting worse. He recorded his thoughts in his journal:
I did not sleep at all last night. It hurts like the devil! A snowstorm whipping through my soul, wailing like a hundred jackals. Still no obvious symptoms that perforation is imminent, but an oppressive feeling of foreboding hangs over me... This is it... I have to think through the only possible way out: to operate on myself... It's almost impossible... but I can't just fold my arms and give up.
Operating mostly by feeling around, Rogozov worked for an hour and 45 minutes, cutting himself open and removing the appendix. The men he'd chosen as assistants watched as the "calm and focused" doctor completed the operation, resting every five minutes for a few seconds as he battled vertigo and weakness. He recalled the operation in a journal entry:
I worked without gloves. It was hard to see. The mirror helps, but it also hinders — after all, it's showing things backwards. I work mainly by touch. The bleeding is quite heavy, but I take my time — I try to work surely. Opening the peritoneum, I injured the blind gut and had to sew it up. Suddenly it flashed through my mind: there are more injuries here and I didn't notice them... I grow weaker and weaker, my head starts to spin. Every 4-5 minutes I rest for 20-25 seconds. Finally, here it is, the cursed appendage! With horror I notice the dark stain at its base. That means just a day longer and it would have burst and....
At the worst moment of removing the appendix I flagged: my heart seized up and noticeably slowed; my hands felt like rubber. Well, I thought, it's going to end badly. And all that was left was removing the appendix... And then I realised that, basically, I was already saved.
Two weeks later, he was back on regular duty. He died at the age of 66 in St. Petersburg in 2000.
iGrow Hair Helmet — Wear it out to a club and watch what happens
From Hilary Howard's New York Times item: "Apira Science, the company that created the Revage670, a laser system used by dermatologists to address hair loss and thinning, introduced a take-home version last month (neither system has been approved by the F.D.A.). The iGrow uses a combination of 21 low-level lasers and 30 LEDs that operate all over the scalp, the company says, with the basic idea being that hair-producing cells absorb the lights and become healthier. The hands-free device is also MP3- or iPod-compatible."
Helpful Hints from joeeze: iPod nano earbud cord hack: fast, cheap & under control
I love the elegance of the Gen 6 iPod nano and knew I'd want a watchband for it as soon as I unboxed it.
The Griffin is way too bulky and destroys the feng shui of the device by burying it in a containment tank-like rubber housing.
Much preferable is the iWatchz version (above and below),
which snaps securely onto the nano and is as minimal as the housed device.
But I noticed that when I went running while listening to music, I'd constantly be futzing around with the earbud cord, which got tangled and had more slack than I needed.
As first I thought I'd solved the problem with tiny binder clips (featured here on March 5, 2011) attached to the watchband, but it turns out there's a faster/cheaper/simpler/better way, which is what I'm all about when it comes to everything from earbud control to administering anesthesia.
The penny dropped last week as I was fussing with a binder clip, trying to attach it just so to the nano watchband.
I invoked Edwin H. Land ("Solve the problem with what's in the room") and looked at the watchband+nano to see if there wasn't a way to secure the cord using its innate design.
The jack end of the earbud cord is too large to fit through one of the unused holes in the watchband but then it struck me that I could slip the jack end through the space between the watchband end-securing devices (awkward, but I don't know the word for those) and the watchband itself, then adjust cord length as desired.
The pictures above and below are worth far more than all the preceding words.
Gray Cat prepares to leave the building after patiently sitting through yet another photo shoot.
The price of fame.
Spine Bangle and Ring
If anyone (including the designer/maker) has a clue, let me know so I can credit the work properly.
Note added at 3:02 p.m. today: Kathryn Blackmore, founder/proprietor of jeweler thevamoose, just emailed as follows: "At first I thought it was this until I realized Ayaka Nishi's piece has much smoother metalwork. Drives me crazy trying to credit images from tumblr. Good job we have TinEye...."
My Crack Research Team drilled down on the link so kindly provided by Ms. Blackmore and was taken here, a February 7, 2011 post on Amanda Shadforth's website Oracle Fox headlined "Bjorg Jewellery 2011."
the fifth image down from the top.
Above and below that graphic are a number of other striking pieces by Bjorg.
The bangle, made from 925 silver, costs €798.
The ring, also 925 silver, is €357.
Matthew Cusick's Human Maps
"I like to catalog, archive, and arrange information and then dismantle, manipulate, and reconfigure it," he told My Modern Met.
"Maps have played an important role in my work since 2001," Cusick said.
"I began using maps as a surrogate for paint and as a way to illuminate the sociopolitical history of my subject matter."
"I found that with maps I could create conceptual mosaics that integrated mythology with territory by rendering my subjects with the authentic relics of their own timeline."
Set of three, each in a different position.
Metropolitan Opera: There's an app for that
This one ought to fill the bill nicely.
From App Shopper:
"Discover extraordinary opera with the Metropolitan Opera’s new iPad app. You can explore the Met's upcoming 2011-12 season, watch interviews with the directors and stars of the season's new productions, see more than 30 stunning high-definition performance clips and listen to dozens of audio excerpts, enjoy vivid photography that captures the magic of the Met and its unparalleled roster of stars, and learn more about buying tickets and subscriptions."
"Connect through the app to the schedule of remaining performances in the 2010-11 season and our Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Live in HD transmissions to movie theaters around the world; to the Met Opera Shop, offering thousands of CDs, DVDs, and unique gift items; to the Met's rich historical archives; and to learn about Met Player — the online streaming service offering access to more than 300 full-length performances."
"The Met’s 2011–12 season opens September 26 with the company premiere of Donizetti's 'Anna Bolena,' starring superstar diva Anna Netrebko in the title role. The lineup features six more new productions, including the world premiere of the Baroque pastiche 'The Enchanted Island' and the first new staging of Wagner’s epic 'Der Ring des Nibelungen' to be seen at the house in more than 20 years, directed by theater visionary Robert Lepage and conducted by Music Director James Levine."
Free, the way we like it.
[via Richard Kashdan]
Bird Salad Bowl & Server Set