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The Secret Sex of Dr James Barry
11.04.2010
05:21 pm

Topics:
History

Tags:
Sex
Medicine
Dr. James Barry

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It was the charwoman, Sophia Bishop, who uncovered the truth about Dr James Barry.  Her discovery proved a great embarrassment to the distinguished members of the medical profession, who had failed to guess the doctor’s secret, despite their former colleague’s diminutive stature and smooth complexion.

An embarrassment indeed, considering Dr Barry was one of the most outstanding doctors of the Victorian age, a celebrated surgeon who pioneered new treatments, and performed one of the first Caesarean sections.

It was only after the doctor’s death in 1865, as his body was laid out that Sophia Bishop could see Barry was a “perfect female.”  She also noticed what appeared to be stretch marks on Barry’s stomach indicating the doctor had once been pregnant.

As the news of this discovery spread, there was a frenzy of press speculation in a bid to uncover the truth of the doctor’s identity.

The Medical Times reported although the Army had failed to order a post-mortem to settle the matter, their sources said the facts about both Dr Barry’s sex and her maternity were true.

Other witnesses also commented on the late doctor.  The Dean of McGill Medical School in Canada, who had treated Barry for a chest infection, explained his ignorance of Barry’s sex by stating the bedroom had always been in almost total darkness when he paid his calls and this was why he had failed to notice anything unusual.

Staff Surgeon Major Dr McKinnon, who had described Barry as male on her death certificate, admitted he hadn’t been sure whether Dr Barry was male, female or hermaphrodite, but that he had no purpose in making such a discovery.

Dr James Barry was born Margaret Ann Bulkley in Ireland in 1792.  A highly intelligent child, Bulkley desired to study at university, something forbidden to women at that time.  However, in 1809, she travelled with her mother to Edinburgh, where she enrolled under the name of James Barry as a student of Medicine and Literature.  From existing correspondence, it is obvious Mrs. Bulkley was complicit in her daughter’s subterfuge.

Barry proved a brilliant student and qualified as a Doctor in 1812 – the first woman to ever do so in Britain.  It is impossible to guess just how isolated James Barry must have felt, not just in her student days but throughout her entire lonely, single-minded existence.  Her secret was shared by so few, the burden of deception heavy. Barry moved to London, where she qualified at the Royal College of Surgeons, and in 1813, was commissioned into the Army as Regimental Assistant.

Bulkley continued with her disguise as a man and may have served at Waterloo, before travelling to India and then to South Africa, where she served as military doctor and personal surgeon to the Governor of the Cape, Lord Charles Somerset.  It was while serving as Somerset’s physician that the first rumors spread aboout Barry’s gender, as it is believed Barry and Somerset were lovers, and it was here she gave birth to a child.

Despite her diminutive stature, Barry was a fine duelist, and is said to have successfully dueled in order to have a leper colony built. For the next 40 years, Barry served as an Army Surgeon, eventually reaching the position of Inspector General H. M. Army Hospitals. In 1864, Barry reluctantly retired, and returned to England, where she died in 1865, her body was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.

Even by today’s standards, Dr. Barry’s career was remarkable - prodigiously talented and dedicated, her work on hygiene and preventative medicine was pioneering; her concern for the welfare of prisoners, lepers and inmates of the lunatic asylum was revolutionary.  Dr Barry campaigned for better medical care for the common soldier and, long before the advent of antiseptic and anesthetics, performed the first successful Caesarean section ever carried out by a British doctor, saving the life of both mother and child.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Miles Davis: Louis Malle’s ‘Elevator To The Gallows’ recording session
11.04.2010
03:50 pm

Topics:
History
Movies
Music

Tags:
Miles David
Louis Malle

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This is incredible: Behold as Miles David watches Louis Malle’s French film noir, Ascenseur pour l’échafaud, AKA Elevator to the Gallows, and improvises his moody soundtrack score. Followed by an interview with Malle.

Jazz critic Phil Johnson described this as “the loneliest trumpet sound you will ever hear.” This is like watching Picasso paint.
 

 

Via PCL Linkdump

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Authentic 1937 velvet green Swastika couch for sale on Craigslist for $1

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Yikes! It looks like the ad was pulled from Craigslist. From the listing:

Wooden Framework cracked, front leg broken, faded from 80 years of family use.

Faded from 80 years of family use???

(via Gawker)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Happy Día de los Muertos
11.02.2010
03:08 pm

Topics:
Animation
History

Tags:
Cafe Tacuba
Rene Castillo
D

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Today is The Day Of The Dead.

This wonderful claymation short Hasta Los Huesos directed by René Castillo tells the tale of a man who dies and ends up in the land of the dead where the party never stops. Castillo was clearly inspired by the art of Jose Posada. Hasta Los Huesos features music by Café Tacuba,
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Cynthia Plaster Caster is running for Mayor of Chicago

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Cynthia Plaster Caster (Cynthia Albritton) is running for Mayor of Chicago. Cynthia was the founder in 1968 of The Plaster Casters of Chicago who were notorious for making plaster casts of rock stars’ cocks. Her crowning achievement was immortalizing Jimi Hendrix’s pecker in plaster. Cynthia who is now in her fifties has turned her attention away from the low end of rock stars’ anatomies to the lower depths of politics. She knows a lot about dicks so she should fit right in. Visit her website here.

I am not a politician. I am an everyday citizen that is sick and tired of seeing the problems of our city escalate and I believe we ALL need to participate in helping to make our city the best it can be. Please join me by being a part of this election process. Tell your friends and family to actively engage in being informed about what is REALLY happening in City Hall RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES! I will do my best to let you know what I learn along the way AND if you know something that we should all know, join me on Facebook and Twitter and tell everyone.

Neil Hamburger endorses Cynthia for Mayor.
 

 
Trailer for the documentary Plaster Caster.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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When Bowie met Burroughs, 1974

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In their February 28, 1974, issue, Rolling Stone magazine paired up Beat generation godfather, William S. Burroughs with glitter god David Bowie for a dual interview. At the time of the talk, Burroughs had only heard two of Bowie’s songs and Bowie had only recently read Burroughs’ Nova Express novel, knowing the writer through his reputation more than his actual work. Famously, Bowie went on to use the literary and magical “cut ups” technique developed by Burroughs and painter Brion Gysin, when he soon afterwards began working on his stage musical based on George Orwell’s 1984, what later became known as Diamond Dogs.

Burroughs: Could you explain this Ziggy Stardust image of yours? From what I can see it has to do with the world being on the eve of destruction within five years.

Bowie: The time is five years to go before the end of the earth. It has been announced that the world will end because of lack of natural resources. Ziggy is in a position where all the kids have access to things that they thought they wanted. The older people have lost all touch with reality and the kids are left on their own to plunder anything. Ziggy was in a rock-and-roll band and the kids no longer want rock-and-roll. There’s no electricity to play it. Ziggy’s adviser tells him to collect news and sing it, ‘cause there is no news. So Ziggy does this and there is terrible news. ‘All the young dudes’ is a song about this news. It is no hymn to the youth as people thought. It is completely the opposite.

Burroughs: Where did this Ziggy idea come from, and this five-year idea? Of course, exhaustion of natural resources will not develop the end of the world. It will result in the collapse of civilization. And it will cut down the population by about three-quarters.

Bowie: Exactly. This does not cause the end of the world for Ziggy. The end comes when the infinites arrive. They really are a black hole, but I’ve made them people because it would be very hard to explain a black hole on stage.

Burroughs: Yes, a black hole on stage would be an incredible expense. And it would be a continuing performance, first eating up Shaftesbury Avenue.

Bowie: Ziggy is advised in a dream by the infinites to write the coming of a starman, so he writes ‘Starman’, which is the first news of hope that the people have heard. So they latch on to it immediately. The starmen that he is talking about are called the infinites, and they are black-hole jumpers. Ziggy has been talking about this amazing spaceman who will be coming down to save the earth. They arrive somewhere in Greenwich Village. They don’t have a care in the world and are of no possible use to us. They just happened to stumble into our universe by black-hole jumping. Their whole life is travelling from universe to universe. In the stage show, one of them resembles Brando, another one is a Black New Yorker. I even have one called Queenie the Infinite Fox.

Now Ziggy starts to believe in all this himself and thinks himself a prophet of the future starman. He takes himself up to incredible spiritual heights and is kept alive by his disciples. When the infinites arrive, they take bits of Ziggy to make themselves real because in their original state they are anti-matter and cannot exist in our world. And they tear him to pieces on stage during the song ‘Rock ‘n’ roll suicide’. As soon as Ziggy dies on stage the infinites take his elements and make themselves visible. It is a science fiction fantasy of today and this is what literally blew my head off when I read Nova Express, which was written in 1961. Maybe we are the Rodgers and Hammerstein of the seventies, Bill!

Beat Godfather Meets Glitter Mainman (Teenage Wildlife)

Below, David Bowie receives an award for the Ziggy Stardus album in Holland, 1974. The dude giving him the award is quite Dutch, to be sure!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Ultra groovy Parliament-Funkadelic promotional videos and TV commercials

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A collection of videos and commercials from the 1970’s promoting PF’s ‘Cosmic Slop’, ‘Dr. Funkenstein’, ‘The Motor Booty Affair’, ‘Funkentelechy’.

“Dr. Funkenstein unveils his bop-gun.”

Climb aboard the mothership.
 

 

 
More promos after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Iraq’s Secret War Files: Documentary based on Wikileaks info reveals brutal truth

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The truth is uglier than you imagined.

Dispatches, Channel 4’s flagship current affairs strand, exposes the full and unreported horror of the Iraqi conflict and its aftermath, revealing the true scale of civilian casualties and allegations that even after the scandal of Abu Ghraib, American soldiers continued to abuse prisoners; and that US forces did not systematically intervene in the torture and murder of detainees by the Iraqi security services. The programme also features previously unreported material of insurgents being killed while trying to surrender.

 

 
Parts 3, 4 and 5 after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols’ released in the UK on October 27, 1977
10.27.2010
10:10 pm

Topics:
History
Punk

Tags:
The Sex Pistols
Never Mind The Bollocks

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Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols released in the U.K. on October, 27, 1977. An infamous day in rock and roll history.

Here’s some rarely seen footage of The Pistols performing in Holland. Nov. 12, 1977.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Grateful Dead - Dark Star live in Veneta, Oregon 8-27-72

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Is it controversial to post an over half hour version of Dark Star by the Dead here on the DM? I guess I’ll find out. The Dead have grown on me over time. Hated ‘em as a kid, perhaps you have to be a decrepit old hippy to “get” them. Whatever, they sound great to me now, maaaaan. Here’s some footage of them at their exploratory best that I was never before aware of that I found whilst stumbling around the series of tubes (as you do). Some delightfully acid-fried “you are there” scenes and some Gilliam-esque animated interludes as well as the crystal clear sound coming off the stage. Evidently this is from a film that was considered even too lysergic by the band themselves to bother completing.
 

 
Much more after the jump…

Posted by Brad Laner | Discussion
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