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#92387 - 01/17/03 03:30 PM Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
In one of the last of the "engines" episodes it mentioned Conan Doyle's having been
a practising physician. I found a comparatively short biography that told me a great
deal about him that I had not known before. He had a successful practice, but amazingly
preferred the agonzing drudgery of writing. He was knighted for service as military surgeon
in the Boer War. On a previous thread someone said his spiritualism was reaction to loss of
a son in WWI. It apparently predated this by many years. I still find it hard to reconcile with his
outstanding intelligence and scientific training.
Here's the URL:http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org/Biography/index.htm

It might make an interesting thread to have a list of physicians who became successful
authors. I remember Somerset Maugham, Michael Crichton. How many can you add to the list?


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#92388 - 01/17/03 04:37 PM speaking of Holmes...
wofahulicodoc Offline
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Loc: Worcester, MA
physicians who became successful authors

Oliver Wendell Holmes for one, who did more than "just" be a successful author.

Since we're on the Medicine page - you might have fun reading his poem "The Fly in the Stethoscope" :-)

(Sorry, I couldn't find an online text easly; didn't try eMule, etc - Happy Hunting!)

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#92389 - 01/24/03 08:06 AM Re: speaking of Holmes...
Alex Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
Wasn't the character of Sherlock Homes inspired by one of ACD's professors at medical school? Apparently he could deduce many details about a person by subtle physical signs.

I believe the following writers were physicians:

Chekov
William Carlos Williams
Walker Percy (one of my favorite writers)
Michael Crighton

Then there's Oliver Sacks, who is a practicing neurologist who writes what I would call medical books for lay people. The late Graham Chapman from Monty Python's Flying Circus was a medical school graduate. I am not sure if he ever actually practiced or if he simply went straight into clicking coconuts together.


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#92390 - 01/24/03 09:10 AM Re: speaking of Holmes...
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Nice list, Alex. Here's a paragraph from the Doyle bio link above:

The young medical student met a number of future authors who were also attending
the university, such as for instance James Barrie and Robert Louis Stevenson. But
the man who most impressed and influenced him, was without a doubt, one of his
teachers, Dr. Joseph Bell. The good doctor was a master at observation, logic,
deduction, and diagnosis. All these qualities were later to be found in the persona of
the celebrated detective Sherlock Holmes.


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#92391 - 01/24/03 12:03 PM A statue of Conan Doyle
dxb Offline
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Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
Just general interest:

Conan Doyle lived for the last 21 years of his life in Crowborough, Sussex, about 30 minutes drive from me. The house that he had built, Windlesham, is now a retirement home I believe. Recently the town has erected a bronze statue to him in a prominent position and a friend of mine has been commissioned to produce a documentary record on the artist’s work in creating the statue. There is also a Sherlock Holmes museum in the town that I have yet to see, but I shall make a point of it this summer.


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#92392 - 04/19/03 09:55 PM Re: doctor/authors
Coffeebean Offline
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Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 725
Loc: Oregon, USA
In reply to:

physicians who became successful authors


Don't forget Dr. Albert Schweitzer - author, musician, medical doctor, missionary, theologian.


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#92393 - 04/20/03 11:57 AM Re: doctor/authors
maahey Offline
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Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
physicians who became successful authors

Let us not forget, AJ Cronin!


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#92394 - 04/20/03 12:20 PM Re: doctor/authors
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
And I had forfgotten Michael Crichton of Jurassic Park. He graduated from Harvard Mecical
School, but never completed requirements for licensure, because he could not stand the
sight of blood.


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#92395 - 04/20/03 03:03 PM Re: doctor/authors
maahey Offline
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Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
I have this nagging feeling that there are more Russian authors who were also doctors, than just Chekov. Whilst researching this on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I found this quote by Chekov:
"Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other."


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#92396 - 04/20/03 03:35 PM Re: doctor/authors
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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Don't forget Dr. Albert Schweitzer - author, musician, medical doctor, missionary, theologian.

Ah!...Dr. Schweitzer. His Reverence for Life should be required reading at every secondary school.

>REVERENCE FOR LIFE

The following words by Albert Schweitzer are excerpted from Chapter 26 of The Philosophy of Civilization and from The Ethics of Reverence for Life. If you want to have more text about the "Origin of Reverence of Life": http://www.schweitzer.org/english/ase/aseref1.htm

I am life which wills to live, in the midst of life which wills to live. As in my own will-to-live there is a longing for wider life and pleasure, with dread of annihilation and pain; so is it also in the will-to-live all around me, whether it can express itself before me or remains dumb. The will-to-live is everywhere present, even as in me. If I am a thinking being, I must regard life other than my own with equal reverence, for I shall know that it longs for fullness and development as deeply as I do myself. Therefore, I see that evil is what annihilates, hampers, or hinders life. And this holds true whether I regard it physically or spiritually. Goodness, by the same token, is the saving or helping of life, the enabling of whatever life I can to attain its highest development.

In me the will-to-live has come to know about other wills-to-live. There is in it a yearning to arrive at unity with itself, to become universal. I can do nothing but hold to the fact that the will-to-live in me manifests itself as will-to-live which desires to become one with other will-to-live.

Ethics consist in my experiencing the compulsion to show to all will-to-live the same reverence as I do my own. A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives. If I save an insect from a puddle, life has devoted itself to life, and the division of life against itself has ended. Whenever my life devotes itself in any way to life, my finite will-to-live experiences union with the infinite will in which all life is one.

An absolute ethic calls for the creating of perfection in this life. It cannot be completely achieved; but that fact does not really matter. In this sense reverence for life is an absolute ethic. It makes only the maintenance and promotion of life rank as good. All destruction of and injury to life, under whatever circumstances, it condemns as evil. True, in practice we are forced to choose. At times we have to decide arbitrarily which forms of life, and even which particular individuals, we shall save, and which we shall destroy. But the principle of reverence for life is nonetheless universal and absolute.

Such an ethic does not abolish for man all ethical conflicts but compels him to decide for himself in each case how far he can remain ethical and how far he must submit himself to the necessity for destruction of and injury to life. No one can decide for him at what point, on each occasion, lies the extreme limit of possibility for his persistence in the preservation and furtherance of life. He alone has to judge this issue, by letting himself be guided by a feeling of the highest possible responsibility towards other life. We must never let ourselves become blunted. We are living in truth, when we experience these conflicts more profoundly.

Whenever I injure life of any sort, I must be quite clear whether it is necessary. Beyond the unavoidable, I must never go, not even with what seems insignificant. The farmer, who has mown down a thousand flowers in his meadow as fodder for his cows, must be careful on his way home not to strike off in wanton pastime the head of a single flower by the roadside, for he thereby commits a wrong against life without being under the pressure of necessity.<






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#92397 - 04/20/03 05:22 PM Re: doctor/authors
sjm Offline
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Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 742
Loc: Akina
>never completed requirements for licensure

What an interesting word - makes me think of receiving a really sleazy reprimand.


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#92398 - 04/20/03 06:07 PM Re: doctor/authors
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear sjm: I'm not sure what stimulates your olecranon so. If it was "licensure",
that's in my dictionary. Apparently he completed an internship, but never took
the exams, nor any residencies. and exams associated with them. So he went
through four years of brutal rat-race for nothing.
licensure
n.
the act or practice or granting licenses, as to practice a profession



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#92399 - 04/20/03 07:02 PM Re: doctor/authors
sjm Offline
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Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 742
Loc: Akina
> If it was "licensure", that's in my dictionary.


I never doubted it.


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#92400 - 04/20/03 09:41 PM Re: doctor/authors
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Were you then thinking of mechanized dandruff?


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#92401 - 04/20/03 11:44 PM Re: doctor/authors
maahey Offline
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Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
It's been eating me up from morning and I just KNOW we are all forgetting someone really famous; I can't for the life of me remember who!? Grrrr.....

Did Albert Schweitzer ever write fiction? And if we include non-fiction writers in this list, surely then, Lewis Thomas should figure high up? What a brilliant essayist he was! He might even have been the originator of the pop-science format for writing.

This thread has set me wondering, as to whether any of you use the words author and writer in different ways. I think I do. To my mind, the word 'author' would imply, in both its noun and verb forms, a writer of fiction. However, whilst referring to non-fiction, I tend to use, 'writer' more, and use, author, only as a verb in this context. As in,
Mr.Diamond is a reputed writer of non-fiction, and has authored multiple Pultizer prize winning efforts.

(?YART®)


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#92402 - 04/21/03 12:27 AM Re: doctor/authors
Coffeebean Offline
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Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 725
Loc: Oregon, USA
In reply to:

What an interesting word - makes me think of receiving a really sleazy reprimand.


I think sjm was punning on licentious and censure . . .

Did Dr. Schweitzer write fiction?
No, he wrote several books on music and some on theology.




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#92403 - 04/21/03 12:28 AM Re: doctor/authors
Coffeebean Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 725
Loc: Oregon, USA
Thank you, WO'N, I enjoyed that.


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#92404 - 04/21/03 02:31 AM Re: doctor/authors
sjm Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 742
Loc: Akina
>I think sjm was punning on licentious and censure . . .


Mille grazie, coffeebean.


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#92405 - 04/21/03 09:12 AM Re: doctor/authors
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
It's been eating me up from morning and I just KNOW we are all forgetting someone really famous; I can't for the life of me remember who!? Grrrr..

I'm wondering about Loren Eisley, but I'm not sure he was a doctor. wonderful writer, though!

_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

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#92406 - 04/21/03 09:59 AM Re: doctor/authors
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear etaoin: I couldn't remember why the name Loren Eisley was familiar to me. I found
a site about him. He was an anthropologist. Very highly regarded. Here is URL to his biography
and some selections from his writings, in column on right:
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/4189/


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#92407 - 04/21/03 10:55 AM Re: doctor/authors
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
thanks, Bill! that's a great site. I've always enjoyed Eiseley's writing, makes me feel very connected and hopeful.



<edit> just realized I've been spelling his name incorrectly: should be Eiseley </edit>
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formerly known as etaoin...

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#92408 - 04/21/03 12:08 PM Re: doctor/authors
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Jonathan Miller? better know for TV and theatre productions, mostly Shakespeare, but other classics as well? many have been seen here (US)on PBS.

(he is very tall and handsome, he could have succeed in front of the camera, too.)



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my other obsession

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#92409 - 04/21/03 12:10 PM Re: doctor/authors
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
If you don't already know about Aldo Leopold, you might enjoy browsing a few of his
essays at"
http://gargravarr.cc.utexas.edu/chrisj/leopold-quotes.html
Particularly The Sand County Almanac.


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#92410 - 04/21/03 12:35 PM Re: doctor/authors
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
Particularly The Sand County Almanac.


yup. have that one!

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formerly known as etaoin...

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#92411 - 04/22/03 01:00 AM Re: doctor/authors
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
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In reply to:

(he is very tall and handsome, he could have succeed in front of the camera, too.)


He did. He was the presenter for a multi-part series on the body in the 70s or 80s. I forget the name of it, though.

Bingley

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Bingley

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#92412 - 04/22/03 08:29 AM Re: doctor/authors
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
yes i remember the series (but not the name!) the final epidode, was a post mortium examination -- an autopsy.

I am not squeemish, (i watched the whole thing) but the first cut bothered me...
(Jonathan Miller) spent years behind the scenes before he ever came infront... and his reputation is build on that.
(Oliver Sacks is a long time friend of his-- their parents knew each other-and they went to the same secondary school and college.)

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my other obsession

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#92413 - 04/22/03 09:51 AM Re: doctor/authors
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
William Carlos Williams, renowned American poet, was a physician in Paterson, New Jersey. Here's a short bio and some of his work (links on right):

http://www.poets.org/poets/poets.cfm?45442B7C000C070709




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#92414 - 04/22/03 11:34 AM Re: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Also Robin Cook-- Doctor/author
(Coma, Vector, Toxin...)
actually if you read one of his books, you've read them all. in each one young doctor/medical student stumbles on to evidence of consealed murder...he/she starts to investigate, and some older, respected doctor pooh-poohs efforts, hero continues, nearly gets killed and in the end, solves the case...

I like medical mysteries, but his books are such formula novels, they are no fun any more.

_________________________
my other obsession

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#92415 - 04/22/03 12:59 PM Re: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear of Troy: I read one Robin Cook novel that was a real stinker.About the Salem
witch business. Plot involved exhuming a body from that period and finding ergot
toxin in it. Bullshit.I didn't know he was a physician. Make that double bullshit.


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#92416 - 04/22/03 03:42 PM Re: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
Make that double bullshit.

With a twist?



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#92417 - 04/22/03 07:59 PM The Fly in the Stethoscope
wofahulicodoc Offline
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Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 4774
Loc: Worcester, MA
Since we're on the Medicine page - you might have fun reading his poem "The Fly in the Stethoscope" :-)

(Sorry, I couldn't find an online text easly)


Got it! at http://209.11.144.65/eldritchpress/owh/steth.html

The Stethoscope Song
A PROFESSSIONAL BALLAD
By Oliver Wendell Holmes (1848)

[Apologies; it's longer than I recalled!]

THERE was a young man in Boston town, He bought him a stethoscope nice and new,
All mounted and finished and polished down, With an ivory cap and a stopper too.

It happened a spider within did crawl, And spun him a web of ample size,
Wherein there chanced one day to fall A couple of very imprudent flies.

The first was a bottle-fly, big and blue, The second was smaller, and thin and long;
So there was a concert between the two, Like an octave flute and a tavern gong.

Now being from Paris but recently, This fine young man would show his skill;
And so they gave him, his hand to try, A hospital patient extremely ill.

Some said that his liver was short of bile, And some that his heart was over size,
While some kept arguing, all the while, He was crammed with tubercles up to his eyes.

This fine young man then up stepped he, And all the doctors made a pause;
Said he, The man must die, you see, By the fifty-seventh of Louis's laws.

But since the case is a desperate one, To explore his chest it may be well;
For if he should die and it were not done, You know the autopsy would not tell.

Then out his stethoscope he took, And on it placed his curious ear;
Mon Dieu! said he, with a knowing look, Why, here is a sound that's mighty queer!

The bourdonnement is very clear,-- Amphoric buzzing, as I 'm alive!
Five doctors took their turn to hear; Amphoric buzzing, said all the five.

There's empyema beyond a doubt We'll plunge a trocar in his side.
The diagnosis was made out,-- They tapped the patient; so he died.

Now such as hate new-fashioned toys Began to look extremely glum;
They said that rattles were made for boys, And vowed that his buzzing was all a hum.

There was an old lady had long been sick, And what was the matter none did know:
Her pulse was slow, though her tongue was quick; To her this knowing youth must go.

So there the nice old lady sat, With phials and boxes all in a row;
She asked the young doctor what he was at, To thump her and tumble her ruffles so.

Now, when the stethoscope came out, The flies began to buzz and whiz:
Oh, ho! the matter is clear, no doubt; An aneurism there plainly is.

The bruit de râpe and the bruit de scie And the bruit de diable are all combined;
How happy Bouillaud would be, If he a case like this could find!

Now, when the neighboring doctors found A case so rare had been descried,
They every day her ribs did pound In squads of twenty; so she died.

Then six young damsels, slight and frail, Received this kind young doctor's cares;
They all were getting slim and pale, And short of breath on mounting stairs.

They all made rhymes with "sighs" and "skies," And loathed their puddings and buttered rolls,
And dieted, much to their friends' surprise, On pickles and pencils and chalk and coals.

So fast their little hearts did bound, The frightened insects buzzed the more;
So over all their chests he found The râle sifflant and the râle sonore.

He shook his head. There's grave disease,-- I greatly fear you all must die;
A slight post-mortem, if you please, Surviving friends would gratify.

The six young damsels wept aloud, Which so prevailed on six young men
That each his honest love avowed, Whereat they all got well again.

This poor young man was all aghast; The price of stethoscopes came down;
And so he was reduced at last To practise in a country town.

The doctors being very sore, A stethoscope they did devise
That had a rammer to clear the bore With a knob at the end to kill the flies.

Now use your ears, all you that can, But don't forget to mind your eyes,
Or you may be cheated, like this young man, By a couple of silly, abnormal flies.

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#92418 - 04/22/03 10:00 PM Re: The Fly in the Stethoscope
maahey Offline
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Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
Very nice, wofa! Thank you!


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#92419 - 04/23/03 09:29 AM Re: The Fly in the Stethoscope
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table seems to have been ignorant of the gender of spiders.


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#92420 - 04/23/03 09:52 AM Re: The Fly in the Stethoscope
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
the gender of spiders

AHD4 says the OE was spiþra but I don't see it in aCA-SD so I couldn't say, either,

Edit:

It wasn't in the on-line Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary but it's in my brick and mortar CA-SD. It's spiðra and it's masculine.

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#92421 - 04/23/03 01:36 PM speaking of tubercles...
wofahulicodoc Offline
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Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 4774
Loc: Worcester, MA
...and just because I like it, that's why

Some said that his liver was short of bile, And some that his heart was over size,
While some kept arguing, all the while, He was crammed with tubercles up to his eyes.



Sneezles, by A.A.Milne

Christopher Robin had wheezles and sneezles
They bundled him into his bed.
They gave him what goes with cold in the nose,
And some more for cold in the head.
They wondered if wheezles could turn into measles,
If sneezles would turn into mumps;
They examined his chest for a rash, and the rest
Of his body for swelling and lumps.

They sent for some doctors in sneezles and wheezles
To tell them what ought to be done.
All sorts and conditions of famous physicians
Came hurrying round at a run.
They all made a note of state of his throat,
They asked if he suffered from thirst;
They asked if the sneezles came after the wheezles,
Or if the first sneezles came first.

They said “If you teasle a sneezle or wheezle,
A measle may easily grow.
But humour or pleazle the wheezle or sneezle,
The measle will certainly go.”

They expounded the reazles for sneezles and wheezles,
The manner of measles when new.
They said, “If he freezles in draughts and in breezles,
The PHTHEEZLES may even ensue.”

Christopher Robin got up in the morning,
The sneezles had vanished away.
And the look of his eye seemed to say to the sky,
“Now, how to amuse them today? ”

"PHTHEEZLES" = phthisis = tuberculosis


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#92422 - 04/24/03 10:10 PM Re: The Fly in the Stethoscope
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
This morning I walked five miles looking for a hardware store. The nearer of two I knew about
was gone. So I walked to the onte that used to be only a mile and a half further, only to
find it wasn't there any more. "There's no there there" Reminded me of Gertrude Stein, who
I believe graduated from medical school, but never practiced so far as I know. Gotta go look
her up.

Stein was educated at Radcliffe College and the medical school of Johns Hopkins University.



"Stein, Gertrude," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 98 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


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#92423 - 04/25/03 12:52 AM Re: doctor/authors
Coffeebean Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 725
Loc: Oregon, USA
Dr. David Livingstone was first schooled in medicine, then became a missionary to Africa. He is best known for his extensive exploration of the African interior and writings against the slave trade.


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#92424 - 04/25/03 09:54 AM Re: The Good Doctor!/Anton Chekhov
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
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Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
Classic Russian playwright and short story writer extroadinnaire, Anton Chekhov, who, as a physician, was also known as "The Good Doctor". (plays include Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard)

http://www.imagi-nation.com/moonstruck/clsc6.htm

and from another link:

>THE most important dramatist which Russia has so far produced is Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), a physician of Moscow who left, besides many fine short stories, a few dramas which are strikingly original.... <

http://makeashorterlink.com/?L2F931654



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#92425 - 04/25/03 03:37 PM Re: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
sjm Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 742
Loc: Akina
>It might make an interesting thread to have a list of physicians who became successful authors.

Has anybody mentioned Luke? <g>


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