The Poison Preview

Egerton Yorick Davis IV was greeted by a throng of admiring fishermen as he disembarked his train in the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch on the Welsh isle of Anglesey. The rowdy posse of enamoured scombroidophiles would not let UCEM‘s PR Supervisor leave the station until their hunger for news from UCEM Headquarters was sated.


Unfortunately for Egerton, the way out was blocked.

In an impromptu address, Davis IV shared the following unexpected and, I’m sure you’ll agree, exciting news:

“Quiet, quiet please. As you are well aware, the resurrection of the ‘The Poison Review‘, from its cassette tape origins in the 1990s, as a blog in the 21st century has been warmly welcomed by UCEM’s toxicology community. It is highly regarded for its exploration of how toxicology pervades all other facets of medicine. It truly exemplifies the Paracelsian refrain:

‘All things are poison and nothing is without poison,
only the dose permits something not to be poisonous.’

Thanks to its inventive 1-to-5 skull-and-crossbones system for reviewing the toxicological literature, toxicologists can instantly identify ‘what’s hot’ and ‘what’s not’ in their field. Indeed, the toxicologist behind ‘The Poison Review’ has already been ascended to the supreme status of honorary Fellow of UCEM.”

Skull Rating

The Poison Review's vaunted 1-to-5 skull rating system

“However, at UCEM we realise that progress in toxicology is forever restrained by the specialty’s reliance on ‘after-the-fact’ musings and the fool’s gold of insights panned from the detritus of retrospective studies and case reports. This is a problem not even an endeavour as noble and worthy as ‘The Poison Review‘ can hope to overcome.”

There was a noiseless silence as each of the now dejected fishermen of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch pondered the enormity of this obstacle to scientific progress in clinical toxicology. His nostrills filling with the invigorating aroma of mackerel, with more than a hint of sea bass, Egerton adjusted his gas mask before finally breaking the noiseless silence:

“Yet there is still hope. UCEM, with the most generous assistance of our most kind and loyal benefactor, Kim Jong Il, have sowed the seeds for a new project known as ‘The Poison Preview’. Three prominent UCEM toxicologists – Doctors Sandy Rum-Riyal, Randy Flak, and Kim L. Rattle (once they have completed working on a new version of the ever useful Toxicology Bookend) – have been tasked with ensuring that this project bears fruit.”

The now elated fishermen of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch gasped in unison.


Just two of the now elated fishermen of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Egerton continued:

“Utilising unprecedented and limitless access to volunteers from the North Korean political system, ‘The Poison Preview’ with focus solely on prospective studies and controlled trials of poisons. In many cases entirely new poisons will be brought into existence and UCEM will be there to witness their terrible effects. World, prepare yourself for what may literally be an explosion of scientific advances. Soon, instead of ‘The Chicago Toxcast‘, the world will turn to ‘The Poison Preview’ for everything that is ‘tox-worthy’. Furthermore, we keenly anticipate the expansion of the 1-to-5 skull-and-crossbones rating system so that the inconceivable importance of studies emerging from ‘The Poison Preview’ can be fully appreciated.”

“Thank you, that is all.”

The now sated fishermen of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch applauded as the UCEM PR Supervisor left the train station and entered the streets of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the latest stop on the UCEM World Tour 2010.


The balmy weather and street life of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

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