Wound Man image from Claudius (Pseudo) Galen’s Anathomia – Source: Wellcome Library, London.
This figure, from a 15th century English anatomical manuscript, is an example of a ‘wound man’.
Figures like these can be found in a number of manuscripts and printed books produced in the 15th and 16th centuries.
This particular version is folio 53 verso from Anathomia by Claudius (Pseudo) Galen.
It is captioned in Latin and the words do not provide any directions for treatment but merely describe the injury: for example, ‘penetration by a sword’ or ‘an arrow whose point has remained in the thigh’.
The weapons are shown as they pierce the body and here, the positions of the man’s internal organs are indicated.
The exact purpose of the wound man image is not known, but it might have served as a reminder of the injuries to which the human body is prone.
These typically range from blows to the head, to stab wounds and arrow piercings, sometimes even showing dogs or snakes biting the legs.
Source: The Wellcome Library’s Top 10 Open Images | The Public Domain Review
Well, he’s no Red Riding Hood and I’m no fox, but it certainly isn’t a dainty little knot in the middle of the face either.
The first born, with all the subtlety of a pubescent lad, confronted his sweet-natured mother with: “Always know when you’re on the horizon, Mom – your nose comes around the corner a block before you do.”
“Be careful of what you say, lad, that nose is hereditary – just like the ‘monkey toe’.”
And so it came to pass, that as he grew so did his proboscis.
On him it looks as noble and apt as on his grandfather, and perhaps many a male antecedent, as it is designed to offset the strong bones and jaw line of such men.
My mother had looked at this feature of mine in my teens with something akin to pity and told me she thought plastic surgery may do the trick.
Now, being a typically self-conscious teenager, I remember suddenly becoming painfully aware of this blight, which had until that moment escaped my scrutiny.
Thankfully, another trait asserted itself: as there was nought I could do about it, best ignore it and make the most of whatever assets there may happen to be.
So far it’s worked, as the subject has never been raised again. I choose polite company, of course.
Not long ago, a precious packet of blood traveled more than 7,000 miles by special courier, from America to Australia, to save the life of a newborn. Months before the delivery date, a routine checkup of the mom-to-be had revealed that the fetus suffered from hemolytic disease.
Doctors knew that the baby would need a blood transfusion immediately after delivery. The problem was, the baby’s blood type was so rare that there wasn’t a single compatible donor in all of Australia.
A request for compatible blood was sent first to England, where a global database search identified a potential donor in the United States.
From there, the request was forwarded to the American Rare Donor Program, directed by Sandra Nance. The ARDP had compatible frozen blood on hand, but Nance knew that a frozen bag might rupture in transit.
So her organization reached out to the compatible donor, collected half a liter of fresh blood, and shipped it across the Pacific. When the mother came in to give birth, the blood was waiting. “It was just magic,” Nance says.
You’re probably aware of eight basic blood types: A, AB, B and O, each of which can be “positive” or “negative.” They’re the most important, because a patient who receives ABO +/– incompatible blood very often experiences a dangerous immune reaction.
For the sake of simplicity, these are the types that organizations like the Red Cross usually talk about. But this system turns out to be a big oversimplification.
Each of these eight types of blood can be subdivided into many distinct varieties. There are millions in all, each classified according to the little markers called antigens that coat the surface of red blood cells.
AB blood contains A and B antigens, while O blood doesn’t contain either; “positive” blood contains the Rhesus D antigen, while “negative” blood lacks it. Patients shouldn’t receive antigens that their own blood lacks—otherwise their immune system may recognize the blood as foreign and develop antibodies to attack it.
That’s why medical professionals pay attention to blood types in the first place, and why compatible blood was so important for the baby in Australia. There are in fact hundreds of antigens that fall into 33 recognized antigen systems, many of which can cause dangerous reactions during transfusion.
One person’s blood can contain a long list of antigens, which means that a fully specified blood type has to be written out antigen by antigen—for example, O, r”r”, K:–1, Jk(b-).
Try fitting that into that little space on your Red Cross card.
People have always been Fritz Liedtke’s favorite subjects.
He was out to dinner several years ago when he was taken with one of his dining companions, a woman with “amazing freckles.”
Liedtke asked if he could take her photograph, which he did under the light of a neon sign in front of the restaurant.
“It was one of the most beautiful photographs I had taken all year,” he says of the moment that launched him on a search for more freckled faces to photograph.
Portrait of a woman with freckles
Liedtke is interested in making beautiful images, and for him, freckles are beautiful.
But, as we all know, beauty is subjective. Look up the word “freckle” in the thesaurus and you will get one or two sweet-sounding words in the list of synonyms, like “beauty mark” and “daisy.”
But the majority are not sweet, such as “flaw,” “blotch,” and “mark.”
Portrait of a little girl with freckles
As Liedtke began talking with and photographing more friends and acquaintances who shared this prominent feature, he wasn’t surprised to discover that many held deep-rooted beliefs about this feature he found so captivating.
One loved her freckles, recalling them being referred to by her parents as “angel kisses.”
Another remembered as a child being asked by her grandmother to wash up for dinner after playing outside, then crying when her grandmother asked her to go wash again, having mistaken her freckles for dirt.