50th Post, 1000 Page Views and Flying Reindeers

in Life Beyond Medicine by

So, I have been blogging here for just about a month and a half, but the numbers have started to get going a bit. This is the 50th post and I feel like I have just scratched the surface. There have been days when I have gone on to write as many as 5 posts! Of course, many days I haven’t even logged in. Someday, I hope I can be as prolific in producing quality and quantity content like Orac over at Respectful Insolence or Greg Laden on Scienceblogs (sometimes greg writes as many as 10-12 posts a day: or that is what Google reader shall have me believe).

I am also a wee bit obsessed with the numbers on the blog, so I continually keep checking on the statistics page, and believe it or not, my blog crossed the 1000 page views on Christmas day morning. What better gift could I ask for from St. Nick?

Speaking of which, I remember reading this awesome article which speaks of the power of the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria in creating the myth of Santa and his flying reindeers.

John Tann  http://www.flickr.com/photos/31031835@N08/3589038246/ (Amanita muscaria). Olinda VIC Australia, May 2009.

Read the article I have linked to for more wonderful details of the issue. What I want to talk about is not whether this is a plausible argument or not. I would just like to romanticize over the thought how the Harvard Prof. Pfister takes his students along on a journey which is the “curious blend of biology and fable”. I find it a wonderfully romantic idea to be taught about the science of biology in such abstract, cultural references. It reminds me of my high school biology teacher, Ajit Sengupta, a legend in his own right, who passed away this year. What caught my fancy in this wonderful read was not only the novelty of the idea that Santa maybe a hallucinogenic figment of our intoxicated brains, but also this sentence:

So every year, when Christmas draws near, Pfister gathers the students in his introductory botany class, and, no doubt with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, tells the tale of Santa and the psychedelic mushrooms.

It makes me dream of a Hogwarts-like school, where education is about learning, associating and in general, building oneself up right from the base upwards, rather than being equipped with a tool to hack through the days of a miserable life. Season’s Greetings to you, my readers, may the new year bring many such instances of wisdom into your lives, and mine.

night-before-christmas-poem_enl

Both pictures have been taken from the NPR post I have linked to above and they are copyrighted to the same folks. I do not intend to step on their jurisdiction, but just wanted to share them to my wee readership. Thanks!

Skeptic Oslerphile, Scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

Leave a Reply

Latest from Life Beyond Medicine

Go to Top