Articles by: David Singerman

Fun piece on the second coming of scurvy

Fun piece on the second coming of scurvy

There’s a good chance that, like me, you get a kick out of reading about explorers. There is probably less chance, however, that you share my opinion—my generals committee is sick of hearing this—that late 19th/early 20th century explorations, including those that ended in the deaths of some or all of the protagonists, are best understood as farce, rather than as tragedy.* My opinion has only been strengthened by learning that scurvy—far from being “conquered” at the end of the eighteenth century—had a “second coming” at the end of the nineteenth. A post on a blog called “Idle Words” has […]

More on severed heads

More on severed heads

My friend Josh, in the History & Philosophy of Science Department at Cambridge, directs me to this footage of Soviet experiments on reviving animals from an informational/propoganda film for Americans in 1940. (I tried to embed it but couldn’t. Not sure why.)

“Off with your heads: isolated organs in early Soviet science and fiction”

“Off with your heads: isolated organs in early Soviet science and fiction”

That is the title of a new article by Nikolai Krementsov in the June 2009 issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. The abstract is awesome enough to make me slaughter a tree and read it tonight: “…This paper examines the relationship between the literary and the scientific experiments with severed heads in post-revolutionary Russia, which reflected the anxieties about death, revival, and survival in the aftermath of the 1914–1923 ‘reign of death’ in that country….” But the real genius is the assigned keywords: “Aleksandr Beliaev; Sergei Briukhonenko; Death; Revival; Severed head; Russia.” What other […]