You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘mirth & woe’ category.

There’s a great video on vimeo by nicolas deveaux

and the question turned to its plausibility. We wondered how flexible giraffe necks are, and it turns out pretty flexible, though I couldn’t find any solid info on max flexion.
So if we say that it could infact bend his head and neck into an appropriate position, would the neck be strong enough to flip his/her buddies

so firstly I tried to work out the force exerted on the head/neck
so assuming a 5.5m tall giraffe, at an endurance run of 31mph and a weight of 3500 lbs (whatever values came up first on google) I’m working on the idea we’re converting forward momentum into vertical so the math should work, basing it off  It comes out as is 55.4kn which is a fair bit. (5600kg or so)…

There was no data on the tensile strength of a giraffe’s neck, but helpfully there is on people.
human neck tensile strength is about 3100N (
a male giraffe neck is about 70cm circumference at the head and 152cm at the base (…/Mitchell_Growth_2013.pdf…)
and human male neck circumference is 35cm (

tensile strength scales with cross sectional area so it comes out at about 12kn. Which is unfortunatelysome way short of the 55.4kn it would need to flip another giraffe. Shame. It would hold up a smaller giraffe though (2698lbs)

i’m not really a mathematician so please correct me if i’m wrong!


we had waited 4 days for an interpreter and as we explained the procedure, she said nothing but nodded sagely. When we had finished we asked her if she could relay the information to our patient. With deep thought, she leant forward and yelled ‘hey, HEY! they wanna put a needla into your back-eh?’

Arch bars are painful.

Arch Bars

They’re often used in maxillofacial surgery to fix busted up mandibles (of which we see an awful lot of)
They are not comfortable with sharp metally bits sticking into gums.

A patient of ours was recently rediscovered from the wild, as it were, with arch bars half on. 8 years after having them placed and subsequently lost to follow up.
8 years. More interesting is that he had come into hospital on several occasions and no-one had noticed them

More unrelated photos

Libibing Village, Lesotho

Sunrise over Kibo Crater, Killimanjaro

Clinical tutor: so one uses the pads of the fingers to palpate the abdomen – soft to deep in each area. Ok?
Student being demonstrated on: what if the patient is tensing?
Clinical tutor : oh, well you should be stronger than they are, so just press harder!
and proceeds to demonstrate on an increasingly uncomfortable looking student.

I have mad clinical skillz

Setting : Emergency Department, late. 8 month old with ?bronchiolitis/pneumonia

ED reg: Ok so what are the causes of bronchiolitis?
Me: Umm Viral, RSV is most common and adenovirus where you see diarrhoea as well.
ED reg: good. name 5 others….influenza, and parainfluence
ED Reg: why does adenovirus cause diarhoea?
Me: I dont know, sorry
ED reg: Did you do latin? no not with me? what does “adeno-“ mean?
Me: Gland?
ED reg: no, it means stomach, adeno means stomach. Like how adenocarcinoma means cancer of the stomach, so thats why you get diarrhoea with adenovirus.

we were at a fancy shindig, and in the manner of students everywhere, keen to sample all the free food and grog available.
A tray of sushi was wafting enticingly around

student “Excuse me, is that vegetarian?”
waitress, after processing this and thinking mightily “I think it’s Japanese”

good. glad that was cleared up

Strange things happen in a locked mental health facility, one thing that I never get used to is the sheer disinhibition and inventiveness of the patients. (I don’t feel calling them ‘clients’ as is the fashion of some is correct. They are involuntarily detained by us, ‘client’ seems to imply some sort of choice in the matter – clients choose who they patronise. These are patients, cared for and treated by us because they are deemed to be incapable of rationally deciding for themselves and are a danger to themselves and others but that may be a rant for later)
Anyways, strange things happen…

Student : “So I was looking at the TV monitor and this women walks straight over to a guy and pulls his pants down and proceeds to enthusiastically give him a blow job”
Other student aghast “Was it a doctor?”