The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
Khayyam struck me as a man with a love-hate relationship with the old vino, which sort of implies that perhaps he wasn't the strictest Muslim. I wonder if that was a such terrible thing 900 years ago when he was alive.
And lately, by the Tavern Door agape, Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape, Bearing a vessel on his Shoulder; and He bid me taste of it; and 'twas—the Grape!
The fleeting nature of life, the finality and permanence of death, the need to embrace life's joys today (i.e. carpe diem), are the main themes. Others include the dichotomies of life and death, happiness and sorrow, good and evil, heaven and hell. Spring and summer versus winter. Pride and remorse. Misers and spendthrifts. Today and tomorrow. Uninhibited and reserved. Impulsive and cautious.
Ah, fill the Cup:—what boots it to repeat How Time is slipping underneath our Feet: Unborn TO-MORROW and dead YESTERDAY, Why fret about them if TO-DAY be sweet!
Oscar Wilde's beautiful story The Nightingale and the Rose seems to have been inspired by Persian poetry - they're apparently common symbols in Persian literature.
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."
Ah! my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears TO-DAY of past Regrets and future Fears-
I was perusing my options for Middle East classics for The Dead Writers Society's Around the World challenge when I spotted this one. I liked what I saw from reviews and immediately downloaded a free copy.
Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies; One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies; The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.
There seem to be a dozen translations to choose from and all are wildly different from each other, so choosing the right one for you is important. I'm glad I had the Edward FitzGerald translation. It contained a First (75 quatrains) and Fifth edition (101 quatrains) but I mostly concentrated on the First as that one, the shorter of the two. I've got to admit that I didn't understand every line of the poem but it didn't diminish my enjoyment.
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky, Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die, Lift not thy hands to IT for help—for It Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.
"It has a spell put on it by an old fakir," said the sergeant-major, "a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that tho
"It has a spell put on it by an old fakir," said the sergeant-major, "a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow. He put a spell on it so that three separate men could each have three wishes from it."
A fascinating classic horror story that has definitely withstood the test of time. I don't usually enjoy short stories but it seems Jacobs knew his craft because he didn't leave us wanting.
The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween specials introduced me to the tale of The Monkey's Paw. That interpretation certainly carried the essence of Jacob's 'be careful what you wish for' message.
"Why we're going to be rich, and famous and happy."
Famous last words.
"Hold it up in your right hand and wish aloud," said the sergeant-major, "but I warn you of the consequences." "Sounds like the Arabian Nights."
Buffy's "Forever" episode was probably influenced by Jacob's chilling tale. When Dawn resurrects their recently dead mother, there's a knock at the door. As Buffy rushes to greet their mother Dawn realises that what's at the door could never be the maternal figure they once knew. It would be a monster. Something they'd never want to tarnish their mother's memory, so Dawn breaks the spell just as the father does to prevent his wife from opening the door to their dead son's walking corpse.
"It's my boy; it's Herbert!" she cried, struggling mechanically. "I forgot it was two miles away. What are you holding me for? Let go, I must open the door."
"For God's sake don't let it in," cried the old man, trembling.
"You're afraid of your own son," she cried, struggling. "Let me go. I'm coming, Herbert; I'm coming."
If I had three wishes, what would I wish for? Any wish would have to be exceptionally detailed and specific. As in airtight contractual lawyer-speak specific. Selfish wishes are better. Global scale wishes are harder to pin down and there are more likely to be unforeseen, catastrophic consequences with this wild and unpredictable magic.
I've not read any of the classic versions before so certain elementsAn okay 1855 retelling of a classic that dates back to at least the 17th century.
I've not read any of the classic versions before so certain elements leapt out at me that did not appear in Disney's adaption.
Here, Cinderella's father is alive and blindly infatuated with his wife while he neglects his daughter.
'Yet the poor thing bore this ill treatment very meekly, and did not dare complain to her father, who thought so much of his wife that he would have scolded her.'
An explanation of Cinderella's name leads me to wonder if her real name is Isabella.
'...she used to sit in the chimney-corner amongst the cinders, which had caused the nickname Cinderella to be given her by the family...'
And also known to her stepmother as Cinder-wench.
'elastic glass slippers' - an oxymoron, if ever there was one. If I didn't know any better, Hewet is referring to plastic. Plastic was in development at this time; the first type patented a year after publication.
The patronizing paternalistic morality of the commentary when referring to the rules imposed on the temporary freedom she is granted by her Godmother, the Queen of the Faeries, is shudder-inducing:
'...an everlasting lesson to all the pretty little Cinderellas in the world to keep their word, and to act in good faith by such as befriend them.'
I didn't realise that Cinderella spends more than one night at the ball with the Prince, though it makes more sense, giving him time to become fixated on his wife-to-be. Then, expending time and resources on finding her when she leaves for good without giving him a name with which to find her.
'...she not only forgave them with all her heart, but wished for their affection... allowed her sisters to lodge in the palace, and gave them in marriage, that same day, to two lords belonging to the court.'
I'm not the type to forgive and forget, but as Cinderella was deprived of love and affection from these people, she's in a position to demand it now. She can force them to kiss her shoes if she wished. However, there's no mention of what becomes of her stepmother or her father. Perhaps their fate is less rosy. ...more
Wilde's anthropomorphizing parables are beautifully written, emotionally moving and exquisitely poignant; praising the laudable virtues of the CatholiWilde's anthropomorphizing parables are beautifully written, emotionally moving and exquisitely poignant; praising the laudable virtues of the Catholic Church and warning of the shameful outcomes of the seven deadly sins. Themes of friendship and charity feature heavily with Christian overtones, which normally I find off-putting, but I didn't here. (I'm an athiest.) I think my favourite would have to be The Nightingale and the Rose. I'd definitely give this to children despite the unhappy endings.
The Happy Prince - Sins & Virtues: humility & charity
A formerly human prince is now a gold plated, jewel-encrusted statue watching over the city. His privileged human life didn't prepare him for the misery of the poor and unfortunate. Despite his nickname as the Happy Prince, he is sad and wishes to bring joy to those in need but is unable to as an inanimate object. A migrating swallow comes by on his way out of the city for his annual migration south to Egypt for the winter and is taken by the Prince's tears, feeling compelled to act out the statue's wishes by taking the Prince's decorative riches and delivering them to those in need. When the Prince is left blind and unadorned having given up his treasures for the greater good, the swallow vows to stay and become the Prince's faithful companion despite the deadly cold.
The Nightingale and the Rose - Sins & Virtues: lust & charity
A kind, charitable and beloved nightingale makes the ultimate sacrifice for what she thinks is love between a young man and a well-off young woman. If the man can produce a red rose out of season then the woman will dance with him. Only a heart's blood can create a red rose. The nightingale dies believing she has done a good deed, producing an everlasting legacy. The young lady lied and the rose is discarded without a second thought. What a waste.
The Selfish Giant - Sins & Virtues: greed & charity
A beautiful garden is the playground of children until a selfish giant shoos them out.
'The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom.'
Spring visits everywhere but the garden, leaving it barren and in the throes of winter. Until a child enters the garden and birdsong and blooming, perfumed flowers return stunning the giant into realising the repercussions of what he's done, and again allows children to play and share in the joys of his garden.
The Devoted Friend - Sins & Virtues: pride, acedia, sloth & diligence
A Linnet tries to teach a self-important Water-rat about the reciprocity of relationships via a story about an unequal friendship between two friends with radically different beliefs in what what friendship means. Hans is hardworking but poor. He is generous to a fault and never asks for anything in return. The other, is the wealthy and selfish Miller. His one generous act towards his so-called friend is used as blackmail for further favours, favours that Hans cannot afford to fulfil but does anyway because he doesn't want to let the Miller down. The Miller takes advantage and believes he's the best friend a man could ever have; sitting in his large, warm house sitting on his butt with a full stomach while Hans is impoverished and hungry, working his fingers to the bone, struggling to survive the harsh winter.
"Why, if little Hans came up here, and saw our warm fire, and our good supper, and our great cask of red wine, he might get envious, and envy is a most terrible thing, and would spoil anyone's nature. I certainly will not allow Hans' nature to be spoiled."
The Miller stands by while he works Hans into his grave. And the moral entirely escapes the Water-rat.
The Remarkable Rocket - Sins & Virtues: pride & vainglory
A vain and an unjustly boastful rocket believes he is better than every other firework and rebuts any indication that he is not with more prideful boasting, and is met with a most undignified end still under the delusion that he is the best of the rest.
In my quest to read something by a present day Barbadian author, I came across this free read by Margaret Sisu. Few can write a decent short story witIn my quest to read something by a present day Barbadian author, I came across this free read by Margaret Sisu. Few can write a decent short story with a satisfying ending. Sisu delivered the goods, providing a commentary on 1950s African American life and the hypocrisy of clergymen - the evil done by supposedly 'good' men. I'm pleased to say that there's none of that white-man-hates-on-black-man trope here. (Huh. I think the only other majority black cast fiction I've read without this trope is Alice Walker's The Color Purple.)
Although I'm not a fan of the spooky ghost story, it wasn't laboured in any way. Sisu got down to business and I appreciate that.
Ginny is a soil scientist forced into a lengthy vacation. She spends it in an old homestead on the outskirts of a small town in Alabama. A strange incorporeal voice and an oddly barren and unmarked grave send her investigating the former owner of her vacation home. While we follow Ginny in the 1990s we also have the 1950s point of view from Herman, the man whose grave she's curious about. His story is that of a scapegoat. And no, he isn't unjustly judged by the racist white man, he's judged by a black conservative preacher.
Herman is an honest outcast. He sets himself apart by his self-educated freethinking and erudite ways. Attending church is unnecessary to him because God is everywhere. Why pray in church when he can pray from the comfort of his property? When he isn't working he's reading, writing poetry or chatting secretly to Ebony on one of her regular visits to his place.
These innocent visits are moments of freedom for Ebony. She rails against her father's restrictive post-high school plan for her: to stay in the close-minded and claustrophobic town, marry and have babies. At odds with this are her dreams: to escape to the big city and become a singer. In Herman she has a friend who listens and understands. Herman is enchanted by Ebony's voice, her beauty and her spirit. He's shy when it comes to sharing his poetry and he'll do anything to make her happy, including driving her out of town so she can follow her dreams.
What Herman didn't bank on was the vindictive animosity of her father. On the basis of a man's poor eyesight, Mr. Preacher Man riles up the locals into believing Herman raped and murdered his baby girl. Some decide it's time to go a'huntin'. Frightened and unwilling to give Ebony up, Herman runs. Unfortunately he trips and accidentally shoots himself dead. What rankles is the twist.
On Ebony's arrival in New York City, she calls her father to tell him she's okay. He knew she was safe and well, yet he takes his anger out on an innocent man, causing his death. Because if the accident hadn't happened we know Herman was going to die the minute his pursuers caught up to him.
Afterwards, the preacher has the nerve to drop a major guilt trip on his daughter by visiting her with the news that Herman had committed suicide due to his unrequited love for Ebony and proceeds to sever all ties with her. This is the reason why Herman's spirit cannot rest.
Back in the 90s Ginny finds and meets Ebony, informing her of the truth. Ebony returns to the small town to quash the vicious rumour that still prevails. And Herman's barren grave becomes as lusciously green as his father's beside him, as he's finally at rest....more
Cynical people: it's worse than you can even imagine. Privacy infringements, systematic exploitation of children and African Americans, government corCynical people: it's worse than you can even imagine. Privacy infringements, systematic exploitation of children and African Americans, government corruption, and a willful disregard of consumers' health. Moss's three and a half years of investigative reporting for Salt Sugar Fat were well worth the effort, though his writing isn't concise, and boring when it came to describing the careers of food scientists he clearly admires, the points he makes are startling and incredibly important. Although America is the primary country talked about, the problems discussed are global issues.
Children and people of African descent are the most vulnerable when it comes to salt, sugar and fat, because they're more prone to acquiring a diet high in all those things, and the food industry has been quick to take advantage by adding more and more SSFs to out compete other brands by appealing to people's taste buds instead of their health, keeping an eye on their bottom lines and not their customers' waistlines.
Before reading, I believed it was your responsibility to eat healthily, but reading about America's neglectful and downright harmful governmental practices, allowing food companies to fudge the nutritional information on their products, stops the grocery shopper from making an informed decision about what they wish to put inside their bodies, and therefore food companies are indeed responsible for various serious health conditions, i.e. obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease (cholesterol), and cancers. 'The top contributors to weight gain included red meat and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, and potatoes' in all its forms.
SSF addicts are referred to as "heavy users" by companies, though even their ex-presidents and CEOs (many of whom Moss personally interviewed) admit the harm they've caused, feel guilty about their part in it, and actively avoid consuming their own products. Jeffrey Dunn, ex-president of Coca-Cola, developed Dasani bottled water and stopped marketing in schools, but was ultimately fired, for which he was grateful, and now he only works with healthy foods.
Privacy infringements abound: Coke data-mined customer loyalty cards; General Foods 'had mass-mailing lists composed entirely of the names and addresses of children, in order to better target them with promotions.'
Insidious marketing strategies are plentiful: pushing comics like 'The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man' published by Marvel; multiple child-friendly websites pushing junk food; advertising to those who've over-indulged, targeting people with diabetes for their sugar-free products; adding vitamins or a smidgen of fruit for a false healthy image e.g. Capri Sun; or removing real ingredients that you'd think would be essential e.g. Cheez Whiz no longer contains real cheese.
Parallels are drawn with the tobacco industry and the health crises surrounding it, and it just so happens Philip Morris, having made its dough in tobacco, now owns a cadre of food brands. Our food is handled by large conglomerates controlling hundreds of brands, who pump potentially harmful artificial additives and who knows what else (oh, wait horsemeat) into our food. Maybe it's time we invested in the little guys going it alone again, where the people in control know exactly what's in their food, and the distance between the guy on the ground floor and the one in the big office on the top floor, is a lot shorter.
'Take more than a little salt, or sugar, or fat out of processed food, these experiments showed, and there is nothing left. Or, even worse, what is left are the inexorable consequences of food processing, repulsive tastes that are bitter, metallic, and astringent.'
Moss suggests taxing SSFs before they're added to processed foods, though companies will probably pass on that cost to consumers. He also advocates the use of more herbs and spices, but again, since salt is so cheap compared to alternatives, they'd rather stick with what they know than spend more on higher quality, healthier alternatives. Or, we as a society, need to go back to eating the standard three (fresh) meals a day when we ate SSFs in moderation instead of snacking on convenience foods.
Now it's becoming harder to peddle SSFs to the public in developed countries, they're despicably looking to exploit the Third World developing nations like India and Brazil.
I started my first official diet with the help of MyFitnessPal.com just before reading SSF, and it's made me acutely aware of what I'm eating. Now I read the back of every item while grocery shopping, before deciding to buy it. My nemesis are grain-based carbs, potatoes, orange juice, and butter. I don't have a problem with salt and my 'bliss point' for sugar dropped considerably in my late teens, which is the last time I drank soda.
Salt Sugar Fat is definitely a highly recommended read.
SUGAR (a methamphetamine)
✺ Cocaine acts on the brain in a similar way to sugar: '...researchers have conditioned rats to expect an electrical shock when they eat cheesecake, and they still lunge for it.' Drugs countering the effects of opiates curb the appeal of high fat, high sugar snacks. ✺ Nearly every food contains some amount of sugar, naturally occurring in fruit, veg, and milk, so we have no need for 'added sugar'. ✺ Sugar is an analgesic (a pain killer). ✺ Americans consume '22 teaspoons of sugar, per person, per day', yet 5 teaspoons are recommended -that's half a can of Coke. ✺ Fructose is sweeter than glucose and table sugar combined, and has been commercially available since the 1980s. ✺ Sugar has a 'bliss point' - a Goldilocks amount, that creates the most pleasure. ✺ Sweetened foods make you more hungry, not less. ✺ Sweet liquids bypass the body's controls preventing weight gain. Soda and fruit juice concentrates are liquid sugar. ✺ Cereals contain up to 70% sugar, and some believe cereals over 50% sugar should be sold as candy. ✺ The Cola War with Pepsi saw Coke inventing supersizing, endorsement deals, and combination deals (e.g. burger with fries), they even put Cokes into the hands of soldiers in WWII at a loss, all to encourage brand loyalty and addiction. ✺ Coke's biggest ingredient is water, followed by sugar, then caffeine. Hypertention and diabetes in a bottle - Mmm, healthy.
FAT (an opiate)
✺ 9 calories per gram, twice that of sugar or protein. ✺ Sugar masks and enhances the taste of fat, encouraging you to eat more. ✺ No 'bliss point' for fat, the more the better. ✺ Whole milk is only 3% fat. ✺ American eat up to 33 pounds of cheese per year (60,000 calories), triple the amount in 1970s. It's the biggest source of saturated fat in American diets, followed by red meat, then cakes and cookies. ✺ Industrialisation of cows bred indoors on a diet of corn and fat, has increased milk production but lowered the nutritious value of the milk. ✺ When Americans moved to low fat milk, the excess fat was converted to cheese, and the American government protected the dairy industry by ludicrously buying up the excess cheese and beef. Cheese-products were made: mac & cheese, meaty pizzas, etc. Even celeb chefs were asked to promote cheese in cookbooks. On behalf of producers, the government aggressively marketed cheese and beef to the American public (and in Mexico). ✺ "Chilled prepared foods" saw the introduction of Lunchables, containing a child's maximum daily allowance of saturated fat and salt, and more than a can of Coke's worth of sugar. ✺ The Department of Agriculture has ignored experts in its Center for Nutrition and has conspired to get the public to eat more. ✺ 'Lean meat' doesn't necessarily mean low fat. ✺ McDonald's was the first to remove "pink slime" from its burgers. ✺ When opening a package containing multiple servings, you're more likely to eat the whole thing.
✺ 'Sodium pulls fluids from the body's tissues and into the blood, which raises the blood volume and compels the heart to pump more forcefully.' This causes high blood pressure. ✺ The least addictive of the big three. ✺ We learn this addiction, it's not innate like sugar and fat. ✺ Low salt diets increase taste sensitivity to salt, so less is eaten. ✺ It's a preservative, masks bitterness, sweetens sugar, adds crunch to things like crackers. ✺ 2,300mg recommended maximum per day. ✺ England's Food Standards Agency set a limit on how much salt a product could contain and discouraged of salt substitute potassium chloride, effecting US-based companies the most. ✺ Processed meats contain added salt e.g. bacon. ✺ Cargill, one of the wealthiest privately-owned companies in the world, sells 17 types of sweeteners, 40 types of salt, 21 oils and shortenings.
The Horsemeat Scandal
The below paragraph shows me how easy it would be for the European horsemeat scandal to spread to the US:
'the Department of Agriculture is actually complicit in the meat industry's secrecy. [...] The burger that Stephanie [paralyzed by E.Coli] ate, made by Cargill, had been an amalgam of various grades of meat from different parts of the cow and from multiple slaughterhouses as far away as Uruguay. The meat industry, with the blessing of the federal government, was intentionally avoiding steps that could make their products safer for consumers. The E. Coli starts in the slaughterhouses, where feces tainted with the pathogen can contaminate the meat when the hides of cows are pulled off. Yet many of the biggest slaughterhouses would sell their meat only to hamburger makers like Cargill if they agreed not to test their meat for E. Coli until it was mixed together with shipments from other slaughterhouses. This insulated the slaughterhouses from costly recalls when the pathogen was found in ground beef, but it also prevented the government officials and the public from tracing the E. Coli back to its source. When it comes to pathogens in the meat industry, ignorance is financial bliss.'
Sexy Feminism is the third feminist non-fiction I read in the first month of 2013, and I was hoping for something to fill in the gaps of my self-imposSexy Feminism is the third feminist non-fiction I read in the first month of 2013, and I was hoping for something to fill in the gaps of my self-imposed feminist education. While it sort of fulfilled my requirements with quality advice and interesting points, I had some problems with the writing.
Style-wise, Sexy Feminism is blogger-friendly, and since the title is the name of the authors' blog, this is to be expected. A little informality can lead to funny, direct and personal dialogue with readers, a lot of informality herein had us hearing life stories and feminist reasons why the authors' broke up with boyfriends - which were rather reductive, if you ask me. A lot more had to be going on than the relevant explanations given. And I feel bad for thinking that way, but then I didn't expect to be put in a position of judgement, either. I'd rather not have read intimate details of these women's lives. After all, this isn't supposed to be an autobiography.
Conveying these stories upon the reader in each chapter, together with the theory, advice, and action plans, gave the impression of the wise older woman gathering the young-uns and telling them to sit and listen to someone who's lived life. This unintentional condescension is compounded by the authors' examples, and favoured feminist role models, many of whom are way before my time - I'm 26. Who the hell is Mary Tyler Moore? She's mentioned so often, I feel I should know. Perhaps it's the cultural divide rather than age, since I'm English and they're American.
As a fan of bluntness, I appreciate the honesty with which these authors expressed themselves in their opinions, they appreciate that the reader heretofore may not have called themselves a feminist or not have acted in a pro-feminist way, however some decisions they do simply call 'dumb'. Yet, I'm not happy with the way they conflate feminism with promoting environmentally friendly and animal friendly products not made in workhouses or sweatshops, and strongly encourage everyone to research every company before buying their merchandise. All very nice in theory, but how many people have the time to do this, or even the power and availability to make those 'right' choices? For instance, the UK's The Body Shop sells makeup and bath products not tested on animals, yet they're owned by L'Oreal who do test on animals. To buy from The Body Shop, or not? Anyway, I don't consider the environment or animal testing to be feminist issues, sweatshop workers maybe, but not the other two.
Certain assumptions are made, for example: 'heels have been used as throughout history as tools of oppression' - making no mention of the times when it was fashionable for men to wear heels. Nevertheless, I'm glad rape fantasy and female genital mutilation are discussed, and I was intrigued by the fractious female friendships and competitive female bosses. I've always preferred having female bosses, apparently that isn't the norm. I did however, once have a problem with a much older female colleague. She spread nasty rumours implying I was lazy and incompetent, everyone came to my defense including my ex and current female bosses at the time, which secured me a promotion! Not long after, my accuser applied for voluntary redundancy and it seemed likely she'd get it, they refused, forcing her to retire instead. That's karma for you.
Although I don't question the authors' passion for their subject, it noticeably lacks the urgency conveyed in the other feminist books I read this month, though I'm sure that's down to the broad range of topics covered as opposed to the sub-sections those other books focused on.
The title gave me pause when I first spotted it. To use 'sexy' to describe feminism felt a little risqué. Was it being used as a marketing tool as synonym for 'cool' (uh-oh), a play on words for 'gender' (clever), or as a critique of our sexualised (objectifying) society (acceptable)? My mind went straight for the first, though hoping for the last, since there are lipsticked lips on the cover. [They're for makeup if it's being applied because it makes the woman feel good, and not so she can impress a man or anyone else.] ETA: I've just taken a look at my review for Feminist Chauvinist Pigs - which is referenced in SF - and the author condemned the use of 'sexy' when it came to feminism, so now I'm doubly surprised to see its usage by these authors, and for the title, no less.
I didn't mean to be so negative about Sexy Feminism, but unfortunately, so far it's my least enjoyable feminist read. I'll admit, I skimmed in places, skipping the more personal bits, pushing through boring areas - not necessarily the book's fault; certain topics I've read about elsewhere and didn't feel like going over old ground. Those completely new to feminism as a concept will probably gain a lot more from reading Sexy Feminism, especially women in their thirties and older.
*My thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Netgalley for the e-ARC in return for an honest review....more
I'm so sorry for laughing and judging you based on how I believed you'd died. Living with Hirschsprung's disease had to be awful, aDear Elvis Presley,
I'm so sorry for laughing and judging you based on how I believed you'd died. Living with Hirschsprung's disease had to be awful, always worrying, always in discomfort. People assuming you were fat when the distended abdomen was a sign you were seriously ill.
Begging your forgiveness,
At autopsy, his colon was "two to three times normal size ... was jam-packed [length-wise]... The impaction had the consistency of clay and seemed to defy Florendo's efforts with the scissors to cut it out." The clayey material, he says, was barium, administered to prep Presley for a set of X-rays - taken four months earlier. "That barium was... Just like a rock." He says the impaction obstructed at least 50 to 60 percent of the diameter of Presley's colon ... [It] had expanded so dramatically [at the end of his career] that it crowded his diaphragm and had begun to compromise his breathing and singing.' Soiling himself on stage happened regularly, he had no control whatsoever because of the disease. 'The resulting arrhythmia [from straining to make a bowel movement] can be fatal ... especially likely to happen to someone, like Elvis, with a compromised heart.' It's a common cause of death but wasn't well-known or understood at the time of Presley's death.
'Stool softeners are administered as a matter of course on coronary-care wards.'
Nasal regurgitation. Fistulated stomachs. Rectal feeding. Holy water enemas. Mythbusting Mary Roach concentrates on the strange, the unethical, and the downright funny aspects of the alimentary canal.
I've learned many things:
✺ Eat more liver. Organs are the most nutritious parts of an animal. ✺ Never take alka seltzer / bicarbonate of soda / baking soda after eating too much. ✺ Never light a match or breathe without apparatus near a manure pit. ✺ Never punch someone in the mouth unless I'm willing to lose a finger. ✺ Anal cancer exists and is contracted the same way as cervical cancer. ✺ A human cannot survive being swallowed by a large fish. Jonah lied. ✺ Fire-breathing dragons snakes are possible under the right conditions. ✺'Humans perceive five tastes - sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and umami (brothy) - and an almost infinite number of smells. Eighty to ninety percent of the sensory experience is olfaction [smell]. ✺ Never take the ability to smell, taste, or swallow for granted. ✺ 'brachioproctic eroticism' = 'fist-fucking' ✺ To respect the "prison wallet" (rectum). When I need to go, I'm going. I don't want to be constipated. ✺ Never insert an object rectally unless I'm will to lose it up in there.
Well, Roach has covered the three basics of animal biology: feeding, sex, and death. Her witty approach to her subject matter helps the medicine go down, as it were. She makes learning fun by breaking things down into easily digestible bites (puns intended), though there are a few less interesting bits. I wonder what she'll cover next.
*Many thanks to the publisher for the e-ARC in return for an honest review....more