Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 079

Just when you thought your brain could unwind on a Friday, you realise that it would rather be challenged with some good old fashioned medical trivia FFFF, introducing the Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 079

Question 1

According to the cosmetic surgery literature, what are the characteristics of the ideal female breast?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Mallucci and Bradford, from the ominously named ‘Cadogan Clinic’, found that the ‘ideal’ breast had the following characteristics:
— the proportion of the upper to the lower pole is a 45:55 ratio
— the angulation of the nipple is upwards at a mean angle of 20° from the nipple meridian
— the upper pole slope is linear or slightly concave
— the lower pole is convex

These findings were obtained from an observational study of “the breasts of 100 consecutive women in three quarter profile pose, having been chosen as topless models for the attractiveness of their breasts by editors of mass print media.”

  • Mallucci P, Branford OA. Concepts in aesthetic breast dimensions: analysis of the ideal breast. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2012 Jan;65(1):8-16. Epub 2011 Aug 24. Review. PMID: 21868295.

Question 2

Do dolphins whistle?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Apparently there are two opposing hypotheses for how dolphins produce tonal sounds: they arise either from tissue vibrations or through actual whistle production from vortices stabilized by resonating nasal air volumes.

Madsen and colleagues used heliox to show they don’t actually whistle:
“Here, we use a trained bottlenose dolphin whistling in air and in heliox to test these hypotheses. The fundamental frequency contours of stereotyped whistles were unaffected by the higher sound speed in heliox. Therefore, the term whistle is a functional misnomer as dolphins actually do not whistle, but form the fundamental frequency contour of their tonal calls by pneumatically induced tissue vibrations analogous to the operation of vocal folds in terrestrial mammals and the syrinx in birds. This form of tonal sound production by nasal tissue vibrations has probably evolved in delphinids to enable impedance matching to the water, and to maintain tonal signature contours across changes in hydrostatic pressures, air density and relative nasal air volumes during dives.”

  • Madsen PT, Jensen FH, Carder D, Ridgway S. Dolphin whistles: a functional misnomer revealed by heliox breathing. Biol Lett. 2011 Sep 7. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21900314.

Question 3

How long do you have to submerge your feet in alcohol to become drunk?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Longer than 3 hours…!

Apparently there is an urban myth in Denmark that you can get drunk by submerging your feet in alcohol. Hansen and colleagues tested this by putting their feet in vodka for 3 hours. No ethanol was detectable in their blood and no one got drunk.

  • Hansen CS, Faerch LH, Kristensen PL. Testing the validity of the Danish urban  myth that alcohol can be absorbed through feet: open labelled self experimental study. BMJ. 2010 Dec 14;341:c6812. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c6812. PMID: 21156749; PMCID: PMC3001960.

Question 4

What is the most challenging free diving discipline and what is the record depth achieved?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Constant Weight Without Fins is an AIDA free-diving discipline in which the free-diver descends and ascends by swimming without the use of fins or without pulling on the rope or changing his ballast; only a single hold of the rope to stop the descent and to start the ascent is allowed. This is the most challenging discipline of free diving because of the physical effort needed to swim without assistance.

The current depth record is 101 meters, achieved by New Zealander William Trubridge on December 16, 2010.

Question 5

What is “penis captivus” and who described it?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Penis captivus is an urban myth – that a couple can become “entwined” by a severe form of vaginismus which causes a “locking” of the penis within the vagina during intercourse.

So why is it historically funny?

The original description was by Egerton Yorrick Davis in the Philadelphia Medical News.  So who was Egerton Yorrick Davis? EYD was the pseudonym of Sir William Osler – father of modern medicine.  He is purported to have invented the syndrome and written an article upon it in 1884 in order to basically get up the nose of one of his fellow editorial board members!

Why is it funny today?

Well if you enter penis captivus into a search engine – you get a lot of hits – the main forum (apart from LITFL) is the cosmetic penis-enlargement market, seems a lot of men are worried if they have the op – they might end up with this problem. Seems the tongue inserted in the cheek is tougher to dislodge than the other member from its vessel! People should be more worried about other forms of Dangerous Love

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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

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