Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Joseph Goldberger

Pellagra was widespread in the South in the early part of the twentieth century. It was a skin disease; and it was attributed to many causes: heredity, disease, parasites, and other factors. Bad cases can lead to dementia and even death.

However, Dr. Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929) determined through experimentation that it was due to eating a diet that had insufficient niacin in it, particularly one based on corn. Furthermore, he determined that pellagra could be reversed with the introduction of a niacin-rich diet.

Dr. Goldberger was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine five times.

He is honored with a statue in his native Slovakia, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire when he migrated.

I think he would be a suitable and non-controversial candidate for a public statue anywhere in the South.

Statue of Dr. Joseph Goldberger in Slovakia

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

U. of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Dropping Majors

This passage appeared within an article in the Washington Post:

"The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point has proposed dropping 13 majors in the humanities and social sciences — including English, philosophy, history, sociology and Spanish — while adding programs with “clear career pathways” as a way to address declining enrollment and a multimillion-dollar deficit."

Well, five majors were mentioned; eight were not. I got curious; what were the unnamed majors? Well, art, geoscience, political science, geography, French, German, American Studies, and music literature are also marked for discontinuation. I find it interesting that some majors deserved mention by name, and others did not. Maybe those have more effective de facto lobbyists in newsrooms.

According to the Stevens Point Journal, these majors are expanded as academic majors: chemical engineering, computer information systems, conservation law enforcement, finance, fire science, graphic design, management, and marketing.

Apparently, some university majors get very few takers. Maybe those fare better at some of the other University of Wisconsin branches, including the flagship campus in Madison. 

I thought some readers might be interested in more detail. You can run with it as you feel. Please feel free to make any comments, pro or con.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Arrrgh! Another robo-call this morning. This one going under the false flag of a 256 area code! Apparently the modus operandi is partly the same - a young, cheery female voice using a generic young person's name and employing a breathless sales pitch.

It used to be that you could screen out these bogus calls by their using an unfamiliar area code; but no more! And because the calls are robots, I cannot even get the satisfaction of telling the caller to perform some unspeakable contortion activity on her own person!