#28: On life and death


Death ship of fools, Anatomical illustrations, Probiotic Theory and Moss

Anatomical illustrations from Edo-period Japan

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These are just gorgeous.

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Death Ship of Fools

Known as coffin ships in English, the death ship is so unseaworthy a vessel as to be worth more overinsured and sunk than as a way to ferry goods. Consequently, only the most vulnerable, marginal and expendable of sailors are forced to take work on a death ship.

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The Origins of Probiotic Theory

Counter to the radical scientific advances in biology of the 19th century, our appreciation for the benign role of bacteria in digestion is much older. Although modern praise for bacteria has often been anecdotal - as in the studies of Elie Metchnikoff, who around the turn of the century began to promote bacteria in yoghurt as the key to good health and longevity, and whose book, The Prolongation of Life, led directly to all 20th century research into what we now call probiotics - the scientific discourse on fermentation as an essential part of digestion and other metabolic functions is centuries older.

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The Intelligence in All Kinds of Life

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