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Michael Spivak

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Giovanni Battista Morgagni

Born 25 Feb 1682; died 5 Dec 1771 at age 89. Italian anatomist and pathologist whose works helped make anatomy an exact science. His early studies of particularly the throat, and the sinus and hydatid of Morgagni in this region perpetuate his name. Morgagni wrote his major work De sedibus et causis morborum per anatomen indigatis ("On the Seats and Causes of Disease," Venice, 1771, trans. French, English, and German) which laid the foundation of modern pathology. He thought tuberculosis contagious and refused to make autopsies on tuberculous subjects; his teaching led to laws requiring upon the death of tuberculosis patients that their rooms be disinfected and their clothing burned. For cancer, Morgagni insisted that the knife was the only remedy that gave fruitful results.

The Preacher and the Peanuts

A preacher visits an elderly woman from his congregation. As he sits on the couch, he notices a large bowl of peanuts on the coffee table.
"Mind if I have a few?" he asks.
"No, not at all!" the woman replied.
They chat for an hour and, as the preacher stands to leave, he realizes that instead of eating just a few peanuts, he emptied most of the bowl.
"I'm terribly sorry for eating all your peanuts. I really just meant to eat a few."
"Oh, that's all right," the woman says. "Ever since I lost my teeth, all I can do is suck the chocolate off them."
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