Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 020

Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 020

Feeling a bit wound-up…feeling a bit frazzled by Friday? Why not relax and unwind with some medical trivia…

This week we celebrate gazing at our omphalos, candle bones, dinner party guests with Witzelsücht and floral imbibers with an Oliver Twist…and remember too soon – is not soon enough!

Question 1

Where is your omphalos?

  • It is your navel
  • In Greek the word omphalos translates to navel
  • According to the ancient Greeks, Zeus sent out two eagles to fly across the world to meet at its center, the “navel” of the world.
  • In botanical terms the plant genus Omphalodes in the family Boraginaceae is commonly called navelwort


Navel of the world

“Navel of the world” – one version

Naval of the world (Rapa Nui People)

Naval of the world (Rapa Nui People)

Naval @precordialthump

Navel @precordialthump

Question 2

Who has candle bones?

  • Patients with Leri’s Disease or Melorheostosis
  • Melorheostosis is a medical condition where the cortex of the bone becomes wider.
  • Melorheostosis can be readily diagnosed on X-Rays, with its characteristic “dripping candle wax” appearance and hyper-pigmentation appearing on the bone.


Question 3

Why would you avoid engaging somebody with Witzelsücht in conversational rhetoric at a dinner party?

  • They will drive you insane
  • Witzelsücht is a rare set of neurological symptoms characterized by an individuals uncontrollable tendency to make puns, tell inappropriate jokes and pointless or irrelevant stories at inconvenient moments….which the patient finds intensely amusing.
  • Individuals displaying Witzelsücht symptoms are prone to excessive and inappropriate facetiousness, jokes, and pranks. From the German witzeln (to joke or wisecrack), and sücht (addiction or yearning) [Reference: Oppenheim H: Zur patholologie der grosshirngeschwülste. Arch Psychiat 1889; 21:560–578]
  • It is associated with small lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex [Reference]

Question 4

What do a sloth bear and local people in the Central Indian Highlands get from Madhuca flowers?

  • A hangover
  • Madhuca longifolia, commonly known as mahwa or mahua, is an Indian tropical tree found largely in the central and north Indian plains and forests.
  • Flowers from the Madhucatree are fermented to produce an alcoholic drink called Mahuwa, a country liquor
Drunk Sloth Bear

Drunken Sloth Bear

Question 5

What is Fagan famous for in evidence-based medicine (nothing to do with Oliver Twist)?

  • The Fagan nomogram
  • The Fagan nomogram is a graphical tool for estimating how much the result on a diagnostic test changes the probability that a patient has a disease.
  • It converts pre-test probabilities into post-test probabilities using the likelihood ratio for any given test.
  • Start by drawing a line connecting the pre-test probability of disease to the likelihood ratio. Then extend this line to the right… it will intersect with the post-test probability of disease.

  • Fagan TJ. Letter: Nomogram for Bayes theorem. N Engl J Med. 1975 Jul 31;293(5):257. PMID: 1143310.

…and remember

Start Coke Early

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  1. Francesca says

    What a great post and contribution from Tharsa! Welcome to the wonderful world of medical blogging pioneered by Dr. Mike Cadogan. I’m curious though why fuzz on @precordialthump ‘s omphalos was edited/omitted?

    • Tharsa says

      Thanks for the encouragement and warm welcome Francesca! There is a lot to learn in the world of medical blogging but I’m glad to be able to make a small contribution to it . Re: @precordialthump ‘s omphalos fuzz pic, that was the famous Dr. Cadogan’s handy work, so you will have to ask him why the editing.