Diarrhea: Not Just an "Oregon Trail" Disease, but a Serious Risk to Soldiers

The topic of diarrhea is often the subject of toilet humor, but among servicemen and women it can be a matter of life and death. The disease once killed more soldiers than combat, and remains a serious threat.

Surprising Science

The Oregon Trail was an educational game often preloaded on many school computers. In it, students tried to get their wagon family all the way to Oregon, following the trail. Almost always, someone died of dysentery, leading to the ever popular meme, "You have died of dysentery."

Keep reading Show less

There's No Quick Fix for Living a Healthy Life

There is a tendency in our culture to single out one nutrient or ingredient as a quick fix. 

If I could pass on any message from my book Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, it is to take a more considered approach to one’s body. That means more considered eating.  People are pretty good about considering what they eat, but I don’t know that they take it all the way through the body.  

Keep reading Show less

Let's Talk Taboo

I would love to replace a little bit of the revulsion with a little respect and interest. 

I think there’s value in breaking down any taboo. Whether it’s sex or death or diarrhea, people should feel comfortable talking about it and it shouldn’t be something that people have to keep hush-hush.  So I am all for just talking about shit.  People, let’s just talk about it.  

Keep reading Show less