Dedicato a Hoffmann Dedicato a Hoffmann

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  1. #1
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    Dedicato a Hoffmann

    "The Spanish heir apparent, Don Carlos, called the Infante, was a weak and febrile boy. No one had much sympathy for him, however, since he was also a psychopath. Born with teeth, he delighted in gnashing his nursemaids’ nipples until they bled and became infected, and he spent much of his childhood roasting animals alive. By his teenage years he’d moved on to deflowering young girls. One night in 1562 the Infante tore down the stairs to snatch a maiden he’d spied, but karma tripped him. He somersaulted and smashed his noggin at the bottom of the staircase, lying there bleeding for some time. Spanish doctors failed to cure the prince, so Philip sent Vesalius. Vesalius found a tiny but deep red wound at the base of the prince’s skull, and he suggested trepanation to alleviate pressure. The Spanish doctors, spiteful at a foreigner’s interference, refused. Instead, they allowed the local townsfolk to dig up the desiccated, century-old corpse of Friar Diego, a cook at a local monastery and a reputed miracle-worker. The townsfolk then entered the Infante’s bedchamber to slip Diego beneath the boy’s sheets—and the boy, who was more or less out of his wits by then, snuggled up to and began dreaming of visits from the friar. A few days later he’d improved little, and Vesalius finally prevailed upon the other doctors to puncture the skull near the eye socket and drain some pus. The Infante recovered within a week after this, but the doctors and townsfolk universally credited Diego, who was later canonized for Vesalius’s miracle. "

    Da "The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons"

  2. #2
    Senior Member L'avatar di hoffmann
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    Dedicato a Hoffmann

    È una storia che non conoscevo. Ma
    Io che c’entro?

    Comunque me la rivenderò

  3. #3
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    Re: Dedicato a Hoffmann

    Avevi aperto un thread di aneddoti storiografici

  4. #4
    Senior Member L'avatar di hoffmann
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    Re: Dedicato a Hoffmann

    Citazione Originariamente Scritto da 1/Zero Visualizza Messaggio
    Avevi aperto un thread di aneddoti storiografici
    Ah ecco

  5. #5
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    Re: Dedicato a Hoffmann

    Before the 1860s most soldiers used muskets. Muskets loaded from the front and they loaded quickly, since the bullets had smaller diameters than the barrels. This gap between bullet and barrel, however, produced swirling air currents that spun the bullet chaotically as it zipped down the barrel’s length. As a result, the bullet curved when it emerged from the muzzle, like a doctored baseball. This made aiming all but pointless: as one Revolutionary War veteran sighed, “[when] firing… at two hundred yards with a common musket, you might as well just fire at the moon.” The other common type of military gun, the rifle, had the opposite problem: it was accurate—soldiers could plug a turkey’s wattle at several hundred yards—but slow. The key to the rifle’s dead aim was the inner barrel, which had tight, spiraling grooves running along its length; these grooves spun a bullet aerodynamically, like a football. For the grooves to work, however, the bullet and barrel had to be in close contact. This required bullets and barrels of basically the same diameter—which made them a bitch to load. Soldiers had to ram the bullets down the barrels inch by inch with rods, a laborious process that led to lots of jamming and swearing.A few enterprising soldiers finally combined the best of rifles and muskets in the 1800s. An Englishman stationed in India noticed that warriors often tied hollow lotus seeds to their blow darts. When fired with a puff, the seeds ballooned outward and hugged the peashooters’ barrels as they moved forward, much like a rifle. Inspired, the Englishman invented a metal bullet that had a hollow cavity, and in 1847 a Frenchman named Claude-Étienne Minié ( min-YAY ) greatly improved the design. Minié’s bullets were smaller than a rifle’s barrel, so they loaded quickly. At the same time, like the lotus seeds, they expanded when fired (from a punch of hot gas) and hugged the barrel’s grooves as they hurtled forward—making the guns uncannily accurate. Worse, because the bullets had to expand, Minié made them out of soft, pliable lead. This meant that, unlike those hard Russian bullets forty years later, Minié bullets deformed upon impact, widening into blobs and shredding tissue instead of passing clean through. The result was an awesome killing machine. Based on its accuracy, its rate of fire, and the likelihood of a gaping wound, historians later rated the Minié bullet/rifle combination as three times deadlier than any gun that had ever existed. And those soldiers who didn’t die had their limbs shattered beyond repair.
    In 1855 the secretary of war, Jefferson Davis, selected the Minié/rifle combo as the U.S. military’s official arms and ammo. Six years later, as president of the Confederacy, Davis no doubt rued his earlier enthusiasm. Manufacturers started churning out untold numbers of cheap Minié bullets—which soldiers called “minnie balls”—and factories in the North especially started stamping out millions of Minié-compatible rifles, which butchered boys almost from sea to shiningsea. The guns weighed ten pounds, cost $15 ($210 in today’s money), and measured about five feet long. They also had an eighteen-inch bayonet, which was risible, since this gun more or less rendered the bayonet a foolish relic: rarely could soldiers get close enough to plunge one in anymore. (Mitchell once estimated that mule kicks hurt more soldiers during the Civil War than bayonets.)

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