"Quack is a pejorative term, disparagingly, albeit sometimes defensively, applied by a member of the establishment, the orthodox, regular, professional, credentialed and accepted class to describe the unorthodox, unlicensed, disapproved member of a fringe or irregular group. It is a term of condemnation employed when one wants to belittle another. Above all, the term has become associated with the sellers of medicines and the marketers of medical systems, those with the "true" method of curing specific ills or, in an earlier day, all the ills of mankind.
While the origins of the term are obscure, the term “quack” probably came from the Dutch Quacksalber, a charlatan, mountebank, empiric or itinerant seller of medicine. It may also have been derived from the sounds made by a duck, the term applied to the hawker of nostrums whose excessive zeal in describing the merits of his or her cure may well have sounds similar to the squawking of a duck. The chatter of the quack, in most cases more like torrent s of words, would have been familiar to both town and rural populations even in the ancient periods, for quacks have long been well known in every society. Over the past four hundred years they have been representative figures in folktales, stories and especially in prints, drawings and political caricatures…” –William H. Helfand, from Quack Quack Quack
1. "Nancy Linton: A faithful representation of her actual appearance & condition after having been cured by the use of Swann’s Panacea", c. 1833, by C Hullmandel (from a drawing by WH Kearney)
2. "The Dance of Death: the Undertaker and the Quack." 1816, by Thomas Rowlandson (from Wellcome Library)
3. "Singular Effects of the Universal Vegetable Pills on a Green Crocer! A Fact!", 1841, by Charles Jameson Grant
4. "Quackery - Medical Minstrel Performing for the Benefit of Their Former Patients - No other Dead-heads Admitted", 1879, by Joseph Keppler - from Puck
5. "The Travelling Quack", 1889, by Tom Merry
This is Fatu, the very last of 7 Northern white rhinos alive on the planet today. She was on her way back to Africa with her horn intact before it was sawed off to protect her from being poached. She is sadly, part of a nearly extinct species and the threat to her requires her to have armed guards 24 hours a day.
This is part of my project about poaching and the solutions to end it. You can still contribute to help us reach our next goals and be a part of this important project.
Thank you The Nature Conservancy in Africa The Ol Pejeta Conservancy The Nature Conservancyand Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and Northern Rangelands Trust for all you do for these wonderful animals!
text and photo through Ami Vitale
ANATOMY OF OUR GENES: The Human Body
The human body is made of some 50 trillion to 100 trillion cells, which form the basic units of life and combine to form more complex tissues and organs. Inside each cell, genes make up a “blueprint” for protein production that determines how the cell will function. Genes also determine physical characteristics or traits. The complete set of some 20,000 to 25,000 genes is called the genome. Only a tiny fraction of the total genome sets the human body apart from those of other animals.
Most cells have a similar basic structure. An outer layer, called the cell membrane, contains fluid called cytoplasm. Within the cytoplasm are many different specialized “little organs” called organelles. The most important of these is the nucleus, which controls the cell and houses the genetic material in structures called chromosomes. Another type of organelle is mitochondrion. These “cellular power plants” have their own genome and do not recombine during reproduction.
Chromosomes carry hereditary, genetic information in long strings of DNA called genes. Humans have 22 numbered pairs of chromosomes and a single pair of sex chromosomes—XX in females and XY in males. Each chromosomal pair includes one inherited from the father and one from the mother. If unwound, the microscopic DNA strands in one cell’s nucleus would stretch to over six feet (two meters) in length.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the set of genetic instructions for creating an organism. DNA molecules are shaped like a spiral staircase called a double helix. Each stair is composed of the DNA bases A, C, T, and G. Some segments of these bases contain sequences, like A-T-C-C-G-A-A-C-T-A-G, which constitute individual genes. Genes determine which proteins individual cells will manufacture, and thus what function particular cells will perform.
read more, photos and info from Nat Geo
Dangerously Close - ‘Man O War’ outtake from ‘Natural History Redux’ -https://vimeo.com/ondemand/naturalhistoryredux
Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko is a nocturnal hunter. With no eyelids, just a transparent covering over their eyes, they use their long, mobile tongues to wipe away any dust or debris instead. They are master of disguise, with a body that superbly mimics a dead leaf.
Diagram of the mouth and arms: