Archive for August, 2011

This Ain’t Yo Momma’s Muktuk: Fermented Seal Flipper, Botulism, Being Cold & Other Joys of Arctic Living

By Rebecca Kreston | August 14, 2011 8:36 am

Does anyone else have an inordinate fear of canning jams or pickling veggies? Every time I read an article espousing the brine-laden wonders of canning your own home-grown vegetables, I think, “how hard could this really be? I can do this!”. And then I hear the niggling voice in the back of my head that whispers, “but what if you get botulism?”  And then I mutter in response, “maybe I’ll just buy my own autoclave.” Or not.

Inuit men taking a tea break during a seal hunt. Image: Dr. John Tyman. Source: Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford. Click for source

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Hello & Sorry!

By Rebecca Kreston | August 10, 2011 7:04 pm

Oh hello.

So I haven’t shown my face around here for a few months. What can I say? It’s a disgracefully long absence.

My excuse is that I enforced a blog black-out due to a big time-consuming “life project” I’m cultivating. Since May, I’ve had a jaw-dropping number of applications and essays and transcripts and requests and what-not to worry about; dedicating a few hours to researching and writing about fun diseases was not in the works. I sincerely apologize if you had been planning on reading riveting Body Horrors blog material on your beach vacation. But not to worry! I plan on publishing articles with some regularity now that I have some time on my hands. Expect fun stuff about botulism, Ebola, onchocerciasis and other frightful microbiological demons.

As a peace offering to tide you over until the next article, I provide you visual stimulation from the Youtube domain. Behold!

These two delights come from the French NGO Aides, an organization focusing on awareness of HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis. They produce some genuinely saucy animated PSAs addressing condom usage and HIV/AIDs transmission. These are supremely R-rated, NSFW videos that strike me as distinctly French. It stretches the limits of my imagination to think of these showing in the United States. My favorite is the xenophilic Smutley, a cat frolicking to the tune of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” in the first PSA. The second video emphasizes the effortlessness of rapid finger-stick testing for HIV/AIDs infection along demonstrating a few other (sexually explicit) uses for your fingertips.

I’m begging you: please don’t watch these at work or with children in the room.

Also! Have you seen the Contagion trailer? “Someone doesn’t have to weaponize bird flu. The birds are doing that.” LOL! Weapons of avian destruction, I presume? Holy bird flu, Batman, put watching this movie on your to-do list!

See you soon. I promise.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Bloodborne Pathogens

Body Horrors

Body Horrors looks at the history, anthropology and geography of infectious diseases and parasites.

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