Posted by: Mark | July 2, 2014

The Medicine Cabinet

Here’s a few snippets from Nicholas Bakakar’s The Medicine Cabinet of Curiosities: An Unconventional Compendium of Health Facts and Oddities, from Asthmatic Mice to Plants that Can Kill (2009).

The human body is 62.91% hydrogen, 24.003% oxygen, 11.97% carbon, 0.58% nitrogen, 0.24% calcium, 0.14% phosphorus, 0.04% sulphur and several other elements including 0.0000000000000015259% radium (14 zeroes). That amounts to 80 billion radium atoms.

Humans and mice’s ancestors diverged 96 million years ago.

Six percent of salmonellosis cases in U.S. are linked from contact (direct or indirect) of reptiles.

Garlic causes hydrogen sulfide (found in bad breath, rotten eggs, and farts) to form in the blood. On the bright side, this improves blood flow and helps blood vessels.

Morning breath is caused by dead cells accumulating in mouth. During sleep not enough salvia is produced to clear them out. Sleeping with mouth open makes things worse.

Worldwide 421,000 cases of venomous snake bites, 20,000 of which are fatal. Half to a third are in India. About 8,000 Americans are bitten each year. Most victims are male, between 17 to 27, and were 28% likely to be drunk. 98% were on arms and hands and nearly all were from the victim trying to catch, kill, or handle the snake.

1999 – 7 deaths in U.S.
2000 – 12
2001 – 7
2002 -3
2003- 2
2004 -6


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