Archive for January 13, 2014

Come again? “Penile Strangulation by Metallic Rings” retracted for duplication

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13, 2014 by telescoper

Here’s an interesting development from the inestimable blog Retraction Watch, which I thought I should display on my own organ. A paper on “Penile Strangulation by Metallic Rings” has been withdrawn from publication. Pity, because the authors probably went through lots of hoops to get it past the editor…

Retraction Watch

indjrnsurgThe Indian Journal of Surgery, a Springer-Verlag title, has retracted a 2011 paper with a title only the Marquis de Sade would love: “Penile Strangulation by Metallic Rings.”

We know what you’re saying: Who knew penises could be strangulated? Well, it’s true.

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The Riddle of the Samurai Sword

Posted in Cute Problems with tags , on January 13, 2014 by telescoper

For some reason I just remembered a simple little puzzle I was told about ages ago, so I thought I’d try it out here.

On certain trains in Japan, passengers are not allowed to enter a compartment with any piece of luggage which is too long or too wide to be placed in the overhead racks; any parcel or package with dimensions larger than 60 cm × 80 cm is forbidden.  It is possible however to enter the carriage with a metre-long samurai sword.


Answers through the comments box please…

The Medical Case for Beards in the 19th Century

Posted in Beards, History on January 13, 2014 by telescoper

Fascinating article by historian of medicine, Dr Alun Withey, about the medical benefits of facial hair. ..

Dr Alun Withey

As Christopher Oldstone-Moore has argued in his excellent article about the Victorian ‘beard movement’, the middle years of the nineteenth century witnessed an abrupt volte-face in attitudes towards facial hair. The eighteenth century had been one where men were almost entirely clean-shaven. The face of the enlightened gentleman was smooth, his face youthful and his countenance clear, suggesting a mind that was also open. Growing a beard at this point would have been a deliberate act done purposefully to convey a message. John Wroe, for example, leader of the Christian Israelite group, let his beard grow wild to signify his withdrawal from society.

By the mid-Victorian period, however, the beard came back into fashion with remarkable swiftness. Part of the reason for this was changing ideals of masculinity. This was the age of exploration, of hunters, climbers and explorers. As rugged adventurers began to tackle the terra incognita of far-flung…

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