Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 157

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 157

Question 1

Jon Snow (from Game of thrones) may “have known nothing” but his relative invented something revolutionary to public health. What was it?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

The toilet

John Harrington was Kit Harrington’s great grandfather and invented the flushing toilet, not Mr Crapper (who was a plumber and owned the world’s first bathroom and toilet showroom).

The American’s sometimes call the toilet the “John” maybe reference to its original inventor? [Reference]


Question 2

Your best mate is trying to persuade you to do an ice bucket challenge, you deny any SVT so can not see a practical reason to put ice on your face. Unfortunately your friend is a neurologists and he wants to test you for a neurological disorder. What condition is he talking about?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Myasthenia Gravis

It is highly sensitive and specific for MG.

An ice pack is applied to the affected upper eyelid for 5 minutes. A positive test is the improvement of ptosis by > 2mm or more.

This transient improvement in ptosis is due to the cold decreasing the acetylcholinesterase break-down of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction. More acetylcholine collects in the junction and therefore increases the muscle contraction. [Reference]


Question 3

What is the more familiar name for ‘break bone’ fever?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Dengue fever

‘Break bone” refers to the joint and bone pain experienced by those afflicted [Reference]


Question 4

Some have suggested that David was able to kill Goliath because the giant had poor peripheral vision. What condition would explain this?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

A growth hormone secreting pituitary adenoma would account for Goliath’s stature. Compression of the optic chiasm by the tumour would account for a bitemporal hemianopia. Poor Goliath… [Reference]


Question 5

How did Dr Donald Unger win the Ig Nobel prize in 2009?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

He cracked the knuckles of his left hand every day for more than sixty years, but he did not crack the knuckles of his right hand.

No arthritis or other ailments formed in either hand, earning him the 2009 Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine [Reference]

Castellanos and Axelrod’s study of 74 habitual knuckle crackers to 226 non-knuckle crackers comparing hand X-rays to look for arthritis (no difference) didn’t quite have the same amusement value for the Ig Nobel prize.


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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Dr Neil Long BMBS FACEM FRCEM FRCPC. Emergency Physician at Burnaby Hospital in Vancouver. Loves the misery of alpine climbing and working in austere environments. Supporter of FOAMed, toxicology, tropical medicine, sim and ultrasound

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