Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 178

LITFL: Life in the Fast Lane Medical Blog
LITFL: Life in the Fast Lane Medical Blog – Emergency medicine and critical care medical education blog

Just when you thought your brain could unwind on a Friday, you realise that it would rather be challenged with some good old fashioned medical trivia FFFF…introducing Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 178.

Question 1

You finally manage for the first time in the year to make it to the doctors lounge and find the surgical team playing computer games. You roll your eyes and mutter something derogatory under your breath. The surgical team state that they are training. Do video games actually help surgeons?

+ Reveal the Funtabulous Answer


  • Surprisingly yes (when it comes to laparoscopic procedures in the sim lab)
  • When tested in a simulation environment those surgeons that played >3hrs per week of video games made 37% less errors and were 27% faster than their non-gaming peers. [Reference]

Question 2

Why is it called ‘Plaster of Paris’?

+ Reveal the Funtabulous Answer


  • Plaster is the common name for calcium sulphate hemi hydrate made by heating the mineral gypsum. Plaster was first made about 9000 years ago, but it wasn’t used on a large scale until 1700s, when it was required to be used in on all buildings in Paris post the 1666 fire of London.
  • This resulted in large-scale mining of gypsum which was available around Paris in huge quantities (namely Montmartre). Thus, during the early 18th century, Paris became the centre of plaster production, and hence the name, Plaster of Paris. [Reference]

Question 3

After Valentine’s day you meet up with friends and discuss what you did. You claim you scaled a wall to sing to your sweetheart and subsequent sustained a ‘lover’s fracture’, what is this and what is the associated injury?

+ Reveal the Funtabulous Answer


  • The name “lover’s fracture” is derived from the fact that a suitor may jump from great heights while trying to escape from the lover’s spouse and sustains a calcaneal fracture.
  • There is an important association between lover’s fractures and a burst fracture of the lumbar spine. [Reference]

Question 4

Who first described the phenomenon of clubbing?

+ Reveal the Funtabulous Answer


Question 5

What was Devonshire colic?

+ Reveal the Funtabulous Answer


  • Colic from lead poisoning as a result of drinking cider. Cider leached lead out of the vats and presses in England during the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • This discovery was made by Dr. George Baker in the 1760s and by the mid 1820s lead poisoning due to cider was nearly non existent due to a change in components. [Reference]

  • And if you didn’t grow up in the South West of England here is a little treat from the Wurzels + Tony Blackburn:

Last update: Feb 24, 2017 @ 8:28 am

Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 178
Neil Long

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