Tuesday, August 12, 2014


It's all over the news.  And it's scary.  The virus without a cure that makes you literally bleed to death.  With a 90% mortality rate.  That's raging out of control in Africa.


But what is it, exactly?  And where did it come from?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

An Eye for War.

This wasn't the post I was planning to write, I had one planned about leprosy, - but I can never resist a story about a good Australian doctor, so hopefully you can all wait a little longer for that tale.

Today we are going to talk about the wonderfully named Sir Charles Snodgrass Ryan who was born on Killeen Station in Victoria on the 20th September 1853.  He studied at the University of Melbourne and then completed his study at the University of Edinburgh (Australian medical degrees were not wholly awarded in Australia until well into the 20th century - in fact up until very recently, most Australian doctors would complete at least some of their training in the United Kingdom).  He then undertook further postgraduate training as a surgeon in Italy and Austria. 

Sir Ryan at the time of his enlistment (public domain image sourced from the Australian War Memorial Collection)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

To the heart of things

Over the last few weeks I have been forced to watch a lot of soccer.

This is a problem because I don't like soccer.  I suspect I am not the only person currently suffering in this manner.  Fortunately it is now all over for another four years and from what I can understand, it's all about Germany.

Hopefully my saying that hasn't spoiled someone's day.

Anyway in honor of their win I thought today I would talk about a German surgeon who did some (mostly) pretty cool things - which, to me, is generally more interesting than kicking a ball around a field and faking serious injury.

Werner Forssman (public domain image sourced from Wikipedia)

Friday, June 27, 2014


The other day I recieved a terrifying notification via email, advising me to be alert for evidence of polio in returned travellers.  This is due to upheaval in Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan and a growing global antivaccination sentiment.  A crying shame as only a few short years ago we were incredibly close to declaring this planet polio free, an incredible legacy to pass onto our children.

In her day job your author does her best to see as many children as possible immunised against deadly diseases just like this one.  Now she will use this little hobby of hers to remind whatever audience she has exactly why vaccinations are so important.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Round the Bend

This last week juggling work and a little baby I have found myself frequently thinking that I am going round the bend.

Which of course then leads me to wondering where that phrase may have originated. As your author tends to do.

Clearly the expression has something to do with mental health.  There is a school of thought that suggests it may have to do with the fact that many mental asylums were at the end of windy roads.

However I once heard a much more interesting theory, which also happens to be local, that I'd like to share with you today.