illness

Photo of the Day

Josef Mengele Women’s Camp.

A Monster Among Men

Joseph Mengele

Warning Some Parts of this Story are Disturbing.

The Holocaust seems so distant, so far removed from our reality. For us, it is hard to even conceive of the massive horrors and atrocities committed by Josef Mengele and the Nazis. But the few “Mengele twins” survivors remember. They remember being children when they were spared from outright execution but delivered to a decidedly crueller fate.

He was dubbed the Angel of Death ? the Nazi doctor who tortured and killed thousands of children in grisly experiments at Auschwitz.

Dr Josef Mengele?s medical facility at Auschwitz was perhaps the most horrifying place the Holocaust produced. Who was this man behind it all, and what made him the notorious ?Angel of Death??

In addition to being sites of slave labour and human annihilation, many?Nazi concentration camps also functioned as medical experimentation centres throughout the?Holocaust. Under the guise of researching new treatments or investigating racial eugenics, doctors conducted painful and often fatal experiments on thousands of prisoners without consent. The man most commonly associated with these pseudo-medical experiments is Dr Josef Mengele, whose notoriety among the inmates of Auschwitz earned him the nickname ?the Angel of Death?.

?The Angel of Death, Josef Mengele, was obsessed with twins and performed horrific experiments on them for reasons that still remain unclear. One of his experiments was with eye colour. Mengele or one of his assistants would inject dyes into an eye of a child, preferably a set of twins. The dyes often resulted in injury, sometimes complete blindness, not to mention excruciating pain.

Another series of experiments which Mengele performed was with twins in whom he would inject one with a deadly virus, and after that twin died, kill the other to compare organ tissue at autopsy.

He carried out twin-to-twin transfusions, stitched twins together, castrated, or sterilised twins. Many twins had limbs and organs removed in macabre surgical procedures, performed without using an anaesthetic. Only a few of the estimated 3,000 twins at Auschwitz survived his sadistic madness.

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Photo of the Day

A Ukranian man named Oleg Mitasov lived here, a man who suffers from a hyper-obsessive personality disorder which causes him to compulsively cover every surface in his house with layers of inscriptions.

A Ukranian man named Oleg Mitasov lived here, a man who suffers from a hyper-obsessive personality disorder which causes him to compulsively cover every surface in his house with layers of inscriptions. Inside Mitasov?s apartment. It has since been cleaned, remodelled, and turned into an office. Photo: Pavel Makov

Oleg Mitasov Texts

A Ukrainian man named Oleg Mitasov lived here, a man who suffered from a disorder. He was university educated in economics and managed a store, but he also had something called horror vacui?? ?fear of blank or empty spaces? ? a hyper-obsessive personality disorder strain causing him to scrawl his walls, his fridge, his piano. He also did street art. He had to.

He could not help himself but etch his bizarre graffiti into everything-the fridge, walls, piano, doors, even the ceilings are covered by Mitasov’s strange inscriptions.
However, some of his inscriptions are not so strange, like his sadly inspiring street art that can still be seen in Ukraine-“Happiness! I’m waiting for you here!”

Mitasov was an educated man, a Master of economics. The rumour is that his illness developed after he had left the manuscript of his PhD thesis behind in a streetcar, thus never becoming a PhD. Mitasov covered all his flat and furniture in creepy inscriptions. Some of them are legible, some are just a set of letters. “Mitasov” and “VAK” (???, the State Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles, where he was supposed to bring his manuscript) are common words he wrote.

Here?s a glimpse at his body of work. One man?s torturous compulsion, another man?s art.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo Unknown source. The Dancing Plague. The outbreak began in July 1518, when a woman, Mrs Troffea, began to dance fervently in a street in Strasbourg, France. This lasted somewhere between four to six days. Within a week, 34 others had joined, and within a month, there were around 400 dancers, predominantly female.

Photo Unknown source.
The Dancing Plague. The outbreak began in July 1518, when a woman, Mrs Troffea, began to dance fervently in a street in Strasbourg, France. This lasted somewhere between four to six days. Within a week, 34 others had joined, and within a month, there were around 400 dancers, predominantly female.

The Dancing Plague

When Frau Troffea took to furiously dancing in the middle of a road in Strasbourg, France, in the summer of 1518, no one would join her. In a time of widespread hand wringing, confusion and fear over women succumbing to the cultish clutches of demonic possession, just try to imagine the risks this young lady ran by suddenly taking to a round-the-clock, public show of relentless and spirited writhing.

But no matter ? Troffea just kept dancing. Nothing could stop her. She had the fever, damn it. And sure enough, in the span of a week more than 30 Strasbourgan peasants were spazzing alongside her in what would become one of the funkiest bits of mass?sociogenic illness?on record.

Maybe it was famine, coupled with the region?s wildly fluctuating weather and Biblical hail storms that had folks falling to the Dancing Plague. Maybe it was from eating bread laced with ergot, a seizure- and hallucination-inducing psychotropic mold, that had Troffea and a growing band of street dancers locked in a delirious bootstomp. Maybe cutting loose in the streets was just a way to get one?s mind off poverty.

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Public Servants pack more sickies

It’s official, Public Servants are sicker than the rest of us. Whilst sitting in their air-conditioned top shelf office blocks expanding their already well?padded?butts the public service is also taking more sick days than the rest of us. More pay, more holidays and more sick leave. No wonder the wheels of government grind so slowly.

Public servants?averaged 7.7 sick days each last year, compared with 5.3 days for workers in the private sector.

The disparity was symptomatic of the cultural difference between private and public sector workplaces, claims one critic.

The National Employers’ wage and salary survey interviewed more than 39,000 employees, and found the average worker took 5.3 sick days each year.

The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association commissioned the survey, which a spokesman said highlighted the cultural mindset at workplaces.

Employment services manager David Lowe said 7.7 sick days was high, considering most private businesses provided only the legal minimum of five days. “It’s just a symptom of the difference between the the private and public sectors,” he said. “It’s about the culture of the workplace. When people are in that grey zone of not feeling flash, some go in, but others say `I’m going to take the day off’.”

Over paid, underworked and now having a lend via sick days.

One former public servant who responded to the survey said many workers saw 10 sick days as a target. “If you’re sick in the public sector no one cares, and work does not pile up on your desk.”

Ain’t that the truth. I know a couple of civil servants who think their sick leave is like a special holiday allowance and they calculate it as such.

Ministry of Social Development staff are among the most sickly, averaging 8.1 days each. A spokesperson said staff there got sick more often because they had more interaction with the public.

Ministry of Economic Development staff appear impervious to germs and bacteria, averaging just 1.5 sick days a year. At the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, staff averaged 7.63 sick days. Female staff took eight days, while male staff took five each.

Hmmm…I wonder what Alasdair Thompson thinks about these figures.

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