Archive for April 29th, 2011

April 29, 2011

Brompton Cocktail

speedball

Brompton cocktail is an elixir meant for use as a pain suppressant. Made from morphine (or heroin), cocaine, highly-pure ethyl alcohol (some recipes specify gin), and sometimes with chlorpromazine (Thorazine) to counteract nausea, it was given to terminally-ill individuals (especially cancer patients) to relieve pain and promote sociability near death.

A common formulation included ‘a variable amount of morphine, 10 mg of cocaine, 2.5 mL of 98% ethyl alcohol, 5 mL of syrup BP and a variable amount of chloroform water.’

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April 29, 2011

Jan Fabre

jan fabre skull

Jan Fabre [fah-ber] (b. 1958) is a Belgian multidisciplinary artist, playwright, stage director, choreographer and designer. Fabre is famous for his Bic-art (ballpoint drawings). In 1990, he covered an entire building with ballpoint drawings.

His decoration of the ceiling of the Royal Palace in Brussels ‘Heaven of Delight’ (made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases) is widely praised. In 2004 he erected Totem, a giant bug stuck on a 70 foot steel needle in Leuven, Belgium.

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April 29, 2011

Operation Nifty Package

noriega

Operation Nifty Package was a US Navy SEAL plan conducted in 1989 to apprehend or prevent the escape of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.

Forty-eight SEALs (three SEAL Platoons) were tasked with destroying Noriega’s private jet on the ground in Panama City. This part of the mission put the SEALs into a skirmish with Panamanian military forces guarding the airport, and four SEALs were killed and eight wounded. Despite the casualties, a well-aimed AT4 rocket destroyed Noriega’s plane.

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April 29, 2011

ACHOO Syndrome

photic sneeze reflex

Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helioophthalmic Outburst (ACHOO) Syndrome is a genetic dominant disorder that results in uncontrollable sneezing in response to numerous stimuli, such as looking at bright lights, cold air, or strong flavors. The condition affects 18-35% of the population, and its exact mechanism of action is not well understood.

Photic sneeze reflex is an dominant hereditary trait which causes sneezing, possibly many times consecutively when suddenly exposed to bright light. The first mention of the phenomenon is probably in the later work attributed to Aristotle (c. 200 BCE).

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