Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 087

In this week’s funtab-packed feast of funtabulosity we have the part of your back that you can’t scratch, a mystery drug in 7 Up, an unusual cause of childhood trauma from the Middle East, the ideal drug rep job applicant and the best ballpoint pens for an emergency cric…

Here we go!

Question 1

What is the names for the spot between your shoulder blades that you can’t scratch?

Question 2

What modern day pharmaceutical agent was an ingredient of the original formulation of “7 Up”?

  • Lithium
  • 7 Up is a lemon-lime flavored non-caffeinated soft drink. It was created by Charles Leiper Grigg, who came up with the formula for a lemon-lime soft drink in 1929. The drink was originally named “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda” and contained the mood-stabilising agent lithium citrate. Is was launched 2 weeks before the stock market crash of 1929. The name was quickly changed to ” 7 Up Lithiated Lemon-Lime” and then to just plain 7 Up. The drink became the third best selling soft drink in the world before the lithium ingredient was removed in 1950. [Reference]

Question 3

In the United Arab Emirates, what unique mechanism of injury accounts for about 1 in 40 cases of childhood trauma?

  • Camel-related injuries
  • The vast majority of injuries are seen in camel jockeys – who are traditionally children as camels run faster with smaller jockeys!
  • Injuries include skull fractures, injuries to abdominal organs and limb injuries such as ‘camel jockey’s tibial fracture’ (caused by the jockeys legs being squashed between adjacent camels).

Nawaz A, Matta H, Hamchou M, Jacobsz A, Al Salem AH. Camel-related injuries in the pediatric age group. J Pediatr Surg. 2005 Aug;40(8):1248-51. PubMed PMID: 16080927

Question 4

According to the New York Times, which college activity is likely to make pharmaceutical companies want to hire an applicant as a drug rep?

  • Cheer leading
  • According to the New York Times: “Known for their athleticism, postage-stamp skirts and persuasive enthusiasm, cheerleaders have many qualities the drug industry looks for in its sales force.”

Question 5

Which brand of pen should you use if you’re stuck on a plane and need to perform an emergency cricothyrotomy with a ballpoint pen?

  • Either a Baron retractable ballpoint or the BIC soft feel Jumbo.
    Contrary to popular belief, the majority of ballpoint pens appear unsuitable for use as a substitute tracheostomy tube.

Owens D, Greenwood B, Galley A, Tomkinson A, Woolley S. Airflow efficacy of ballpoint pen tubes: a consideration for use in bystander cricothyrotomy. Emerg Med J. 2010 Apr;27(4):317-20. PubMed PMID: 20385693.

Learn more here:

Want An Easy Way To Score Higher On The FFFF?

It’s easy — write the questions yourself!
You can submit a question to the FFFF using this form.

Finally, here’s Richard Feynman playing bongos and singing about orange juice (apparently he was about to have a further operation for cancer and had recently received a letter from Linus Pauling telling to take more vitamin C to cure his cancer – this is his idiomatic response!):

Print Friendly


  1. Amanda Lavis says

    I was planning to stay in and do some VAQ’s but now I have to go out and buy some juice. Thanks Chris.