Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 111

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 111

Question 1

You notice a unusual looking, reddish, fern-like design on a friend’s shoulder. You assume that it is a ‘henna tattoo’…but it is not. What is it, how did she get it and how long will it last?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Lichtenberg figures

Also known as called “lightning flowers” can appear across the skin after being struck by lightning.They are transient and fade after a few days.

Named after the German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 – 1799). In 1777, he used a capacitive electrostatic generator to produce high voltage electrostatic charge; discharged to the surface of an insulator; highlighted the radial patterns with various powders; and recorded the patterns by pressing blank paper on the powder.

Question 2

What are the Greville Chester great toe and Cairo toe examples of?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


These are the earliest example of prosthetics – artificial toes found on mummified bodies, made from linen glue and plaster.

They helped you keep your thongs on!! [Reference]

Question 3

Kids are different today, I hear every mother say. Mother needs something today to calm her down and though she’s not really ill, there’s a little yellow pill. She goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper, and it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day

What is Mother’s little helper? Who wrote the song?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Mick Jagger/Keith Richards wrote the song and it was released in 1966.

Question 4

Thomas Wharton is bringing dessert to your dinner gathering, what might you expect and what is it made from?

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Wharton’s jelly is a mucopolysaccharide based substance found in the umbilical cord and in the eye.

When it is exposed to temperature changes it collapses structures within the umbilical cord, thus acting as a physiological clamp approximately 5 minutes after birth.

Let’s hope he brings ice cream instead. [Reference]

Question 5

It’s not one you might have in your procedure log, but what is the “intracarotid sodium amobarbital procedure” used for? Bonus point for the test’s eponymous name.

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Diagnostic procedure to determine which hemisphere is dominant for speech (and memory/cognitive processing)

Used prior to undergoing surgical procedures for epilepsy.

The test helps determine whether an awake craniotomy is required.

Otherwise known as the Wada test named after Canadian neurologist and epileptologist – Dr Juhn Atsushi Wada [Reference]

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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Medical Registrar fascinated by the quirky history of medicine and those crazy microbes.

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