This is all Stephen Colbert's fault

First it was the kangaroos, now it's the elephants that are joining the sexual revolution:

Elephants in the Indian state of West Bengal are to undergo a birth control scheme due to a lack of funds for their upkeep, the state government says. Of West Bengal's 400 elephants, nearly 70 are tame and in service to private owners or the state forest department. ... The Bengal Forest department spends more than 60m rupees (nearly $130,000) annually on the upkeep of the elephants in its service. ... Veterinary doctors would administer birth control injections and pills on about a dozen female elephants in the service of the forest department, he said.

They'd best hope those elephants really are tame -- how'd you like to be the one who administers the shot?

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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