Sunday, September 02, 2007


I am full of spaghetti. Today we harvested the blackberries that infest the slope on the lake side of the house. Meredith made two pies. When the spaghetti calms down, I just might have a piece.

There are news articles roaming about claiming that Beethoven died because hit doctor dosed him with poison (lead).
That's what medicine is, carefully monitored doses of poison that, theoretically, destroys the disease befor destroying the patient. Think of chemotherapy.
Those chemos are much worse than a little bit of lead. So, the doctor did what he could according to the medical science of the day.
As we all do, according to our own sciences. It is impossible to say whether Ludwig's life was shortened or lengthend by the medical attention he recieved.
They didn't even know there were such things as germs, bacteria, or viruses.
Medicine is a delicate balance between killing the illness and killing the patient.
Sometimes, the disease is just stronger.
Furthermore it does not necessarily follow that he would have been able to keep his genius alive. let alone better it.
One could argue that the final moments of the ninth symphony indicate an artist who was losing touch.
Both J.S. Bach and G.F.Handel died of infection due to eye surgery administered by the same doctor. Not Beethoven', of course

A hundred years before Dr. Lister.

Before the notion that the doctor was at fault could be a rational one, one would have to compare with all other sicknesses and all other people.
Not just the famous, rich, and powerful.

Beethoven was 57 years old, he led a long and painful life

As do we all.

Remember, we're all in this alone.

So eat your greens, excercise, regularly, cut down on the fatty stuff, etc.

Your Daddy loves you.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Right on!!", Lane!!!!
Eat healthy foods and avoid chemicals in foods and drugs!!!
Margrit and I agree: many chemical medicines are more lethal than the germs/viruses they are supposed top kill, so the drugs
rather than the bugs kill the patient!!
Opening night for "König Artur" in Münster went very well; we were able to understand most of my translation and the staging was imaginative and true to the work; this stage director (Igor Falwill) is sort of a German Chris Alexander in style. A
great cast of singers and actors did a superb job of realizing his ideas and singing Purcell's music. Sustained applause at the end.
Margrit sends regards to Meredith, Keth and you, and I do, too. She'dalso enjoy a piece of Meredith's berry pie, but an egg-alergy means I don't know what I missed.
ocuqfnhb, the word (??) I'm supposed to write to send this message.
-- Anonomann

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo, again, Lane!

I mentioned this blog (2 Sept.) to Margrit, and she wanted a copy. We could not get on Internet with her home computer (seems all other Germans wanted to get on at ca. 9 p.m. So, as she was working again today at the State Library, I tried to print your sage "Savant"ry and, with the help of an apprentice librarian, was able to do so. I also printed my "Comment" to it (but not this one).
This one: We listened again last night to the CD you gave her (Trombone+Tuba Concerti + Variations on a non-existent folk song). Like Margrit, I loved tracks 3 & 4 (Tromb. 3rd Movement and Tuba). We both think you have a real feel for the jazz idiom; in the 60s this was called 3rd stream music; on of its best exponents was Günter Schüller (despite name and German birth, he was then a Professor at the New England Conservatory of Music. What he is (if he still is alive), I don't know, but I loved his music and love yours in this style, too, as does Margrit. Maybe if you did more of this, you could revive "3rd Stream" and have a niche for yourself. Germany has a composer of similar style (Stefan Malzew); I attended a performance of his "Concerto No. 1 for Jazz Quartet and Orchestra" and the 3rd movement was so well-liked it had to be repeated as an encore. I tried to get Malzew to give me a CD of it, but he never did, and, alas, it was never recorded commercially. We think if you proceed along this line you'll have a real success. Hope you'll find the violinists (again, try Rennie), but if you don't, we feel you should find ajazz group and write something for THEM!!!

-- Anonomann + Lovely Librarian

1:47 AM  
Blogger butch said...

I forgot to mention that at the restaurant at Crescent Lake Lodge we ordered a blackberry pie alamode, and biting into it we discovered that the "new" pastry chef has neglected to put ANY sugar in it at all. It was the worst piece of berry pie I have ever ingested. We fussed and the pie was taken off the bill.

I am living proof that a person has to be their own advocate when it comes to dealing with both a disease, or process, and one's medical treatment team. I have a family practionier, an internist, two neurologists, and now a rheumatologist on my team. I balance things like 7 balls in the air at once, a very dynamic sight and sound. I have to endure living on 7 chronic meds, and they all become in conflict with each other at some point, or my immune system craps out again and more complications arise, like deep vein and shallow vein thrombosis, or gout, or Thrush -the sore throat business. Cancer is one of the last great Killers we have to confront. If the heart does not give out, or the brain blow up on a person, then Cancer will eat your insides out, and destroy the vigor of your carbon unit, and force you to discard it and make your transition to the other side of the veil; which sooner or later we all do, have done, will do, again and again down across the centuries.

Strange to hear about doctors in the past that did both general medicine and eye surgery. But hospitals even today are such a hotbed of germs and virilent viruses that I would not recommend them for a week end stay.

Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, OM , FRS (5 April 1827 – 10 February 1912) was an English surgeon who promoted the idea of sterile surgery while working at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. He successfully introduced carbolic acid (phenol) to sterilize surgical instruments and to clean wounds.

Discovery of Antiseptic Treatment of Wounds
After six years he got a professorship of surgery at the University of Glasgow. At the time the usual explanation for wound infection was that the exposed tissues were damaged by chemicals in the air or via a stinking "miasma" in the air. The sick wards actually smelled bad, not due to a "miasma" but due to the rotting of wounds. Hospital wards were occasionally aired out at midday, but Florence Nightingale's doctrine of fresh air was still seen as science fiction. Facilities for washing hands or the patient's wounds did not exist and it was even considered unnecessary for the surgeon to wash his hands before he saw a patient. The work of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis and Oliver Wendell Holmes were not heeded.

Lister became aware of a paper published by Louis Pasteur which showed that rotting and fermentation could occur without any oxygen if micro-organisms were present. Lister confirmed this with his own experiments. If micro-organisms were causing gangrene, the problem was how to get rid of them. Pasteur suggested three methods: to filter them out, to heat them up, or expose them to chemical solutions. The first two were inappropriate in a human wound so Lister experimented with the third.

Carbolic acid (phenol) had been in use as a means of deodorizing sewage, so Lister tested the results of spraying instruments, the surgical incisions, and dressings with a solution of it. Lister found that carbolic acid solution swabbed on wounds markedly reduced the incidence of gangrene and subsequently published a series of articles on the Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery describing this procedure on 16 March 1867 in the journal The Lancet.

He also made surgeons wear clean gloves and wash their hands before and after operations with 5% carbolic acid solutions. Although it should be noted that he first persuaded Charles Goodyear to manufacture rubber gloves for his nurse since the carbolic acid caused her to suffer from contact dermatitis. Instruments were also washed in the same solution and assistants sprayed the solution in the operating theatre. One of his conclusions was to stop using natural porous materials in manufacturing the handles of medical instruments.

Lister left Glasgow in 1869, returning to Edinburgh as successor to Syme as Professor of Surgery at the University of Edinburgh, and continued to develop improved methods of antisepsis and asepsis. His fame had spread by then and audiences of 400 often came to hear him lecture.

As the germ theory of disease became more widely accepted, it was realised that infection could be better avoided by preventing bacteria from getting into wounds in the first place. This led to the rise of sterile surgery. Some consider Lister "the father of modern antisepsis."

Listerine mouthwash is named after him for his work in antisepsis. Also named in his honour is the bacterial genus Listeria, typified by the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.

He credited Ignaz Semmelweis for earlier work in antiseptic treatment: "Without Semmelweis, my achievements would be nothing." [1]

Bach became increasingly blind, and the celebrated British ophthalmologist John Taylor (who had operated unsuccessfully on Handel) operated on Bach while visiting Leipzig in 1750. However Bach died "from the unhappy consequences of the very unsuccessful eye operation"[6] at the age of 65. His estate was valued at 1159 Thalers and included 5 Clavecins, 2 Lute-Harpsichords, 3 violins, 3 violas, 2 cellos, a viola da gamba, a lute and a spinet, 52 "Sacred Books" (many by Martin Luther, Muller and Pfeiffer, also including Josephus's History of the Jews and 9 volumes of Wagner's Leipzig Song Book).[7]

During his life he composed more than 1,000 works.

Be careful with those greens, there, Daddy, for many of them are laced with chemicals and germs and can kill you too. It is all a crap shoot.

And we, the children of the Master, love you too, Great Daddy of the Day, Daddy in the Sky with black diamonds.


6:01 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

"Eat your greens" is from a Frank Zappa song.

1:19 PM  

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