Tuesday, 15 November 2022




Schizophrenic disease, anxious panic,

Or depressive thoughts cycling with manic.

Such disorders endogenous

(No cause that's exogenous) —

Your shrink terms these ills non-organic.

Does your body feel like you're half-dead?
Can drug side-effects mess with your head?
A meticulous shrink:
"It's organic, I think.
Get a medical workup instead."
Dr.G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022
Authors' Note:  A psychiatric workup for mental disorders starts with the separation of causality into two streams. In the first, brain function, thoughts and behavior may be altered by subtle or unusual manifestations of disease in body systems outside the brain — these are sometimes termed exogenous. In the second stream, manifestations are attributable to disorder of the brain itself (usually of unknown cause) in patterns reflective of neurosis, schizophrenia and depressive illness. In somewhat archaic, but still utilized descriptions, psychiatrists may refer to this distinction as indicating organic versus non-organic mental disorders. 


In the frontal lobes, meningioma

Presses on, slowly grows in its stroma.

Bizarre thoughts are expressed,

Vicious acts unredressed —

Symptoms med students learn pre-diploma.
Dr.G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022
Authors' Note: stroma: connective tissue that supports normal body structures and, on occasion, abnormal growths
Meningioma is a not-uncommon slowly growing benign tumor within the cranium. Pressure on adjacent portions of normal brain induce neurological symptoms. When the tumor is located in the frontal cortex, neuropsychiatric manifestations may include bizarre thoughts, frequently paranoid, and unrepressed behavior. Fortunately, the tumors, when suspected, are readily diagnosed on neuro-imaging studies, and surgical therapy is often curative.

Brain tumours account for only a small portion of patients suffering such neuropsychiatric symptoms; however, medical practitioners frequently hope that such a correctable cause may be discovered.


You're depressed and withdrawn, so retractive,

Since your thyroid gland's gone rarefactive.

Body functions slow, too.

But, the best test for you —

TSH, it's sky-high — still reactive.

Dr.G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022

Authors' Note: By far the most common cause of thyroid hormone deficiency or hypothyroidism (historically known by the moniker myxedema for a type of puffy swelling and rash in the legs) is progressive destruction of normal hormone-producing tissue by the process of colloid degeneration. Owing to the metabolic role of thyroid hormone, most body functions slow as a result of this deficiency, resulting, for example, in a slow pulse and weight gain. For the brain in general, somnolence and depression may be accompanied in extreme cases by a derangement of mentation known as 'myxedema madness'.

Under normal circumstances, the anterior pituitary gland, stimulated by the hypophysis, an adjacent brain control center, plays a key role as the 'master gland' in regulating hormone production. When the thyroid gland is flagging, the master gland increases its production of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), a messenger that is excreted into the bloodstream, targeted to increase the peripheral gland's production to normal levels. Fortunately, the robust sensing mechanism in the hypophysis and pituitary, not impaired by the metabolic slowdown elsewhere, produces high levels of blood TSH so reliably that a simple blood test can be used as the best test for the hypothyroid state. 


Recent grandiose thoughts you have had —

You're the Hulk, Gandhi or George Bush (dad);

'Then a seizure grand mal;

Cause: diffuse lesions small — *

That's cerebral metastases — Bad!
*(High-dose steroids and rads,
Bring some respite, still sad).
Dr G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022


General paresis (insane),

Syphilitic late syndrome, now plain,

Younger men it was killin'

(Era pre-penicillin).

I hope we won't see it again!
Dr.G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022
Authors' Note:
paresis: weakness or fatigue
General paresis of the insane, known by the initialism GPI, was recognized as a distinct disease in 1822, and considered by the Victorians to be a form of madness in persons, primarily men, of dissolute character. It took another century until it was confirmed that it was caused by spirochetes, causative organism for syphilis, damaging the brain in the late (tertiary) stage, and that its progression could be halted by antibiotics such as anti-malarial arsenicals and, after 1940, penicillin. Once a relatively common problem on a global scale, GPI now seems to be confined to developing countries.


There's a latent disease jocks should dread:

CTE — caused by blows to the head.

It's like Alzheimer's (early),

You're confused and act surly.

Diagnosis? That's made when you're dead.

Contact sports are the field that you tread?

Tackle broadcasting fieldplay instead.
Dr.G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022   OEDILF#119223
Authors' Note:  Although military recruits and physically abused spouses also number among the victims of this disease of insidious onset, (characteristically diagnosed with certainty only at post-mortem examination), it is the scourge of those who earlier in life indulged in contact sports, particularly those with a risk of repetitive minor brain trauma.

Everything that you wanted to know about chronic traumatic encephalopathy can be found in the author's note appended to MikeAq's verse on the subject.


High-dose steroids may cause symptoms manic,

Whereas other minds shrivel or panic.

Increased suicide rates —

(Tapered dose, that abates)

Side-effect, 'til you're done, looms titanic.

Dr G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022
Authors' Note: A course of high-dose synthetic corticosteroids, e.g. dexamethasone, may be used to help bring under control a severe exacerbation of a chronic illness, e.g. asthma, inflammatory diseases, or an initial presentation, e.g. anaphylaxis, septic shock or brain swelling. Owing to the common side-effect of drug-induced euphoria/mania and other psychiatric issues, doctors attempt to taper the high doses as soon as possible.


"Back a spell, had a spill." Recall's hazy;

Two months passed, Hazel's ill and acts crazy.

Then a CAT-scan referral

Found her chronic subdural.

That flaw fixed, she feels fresh as a daisy.
 Dr G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022
Authors' Note: A chronic subdural hematoma is a space-occupying intracranial lesion resulting from the body's failure to resorb blood that collected between the dural membrane and the brain parenchyma, usually caused by traumatic head injury. Whereas an initial expanding clot presents as a neurosurgical emergency, smaller clots, with a tendency to absorb fluid and expand gradually, may be later suggested only by chronic neuropsychiatric symptoms. In jargon used in actual medical settings and in televised fictional series, the term for the lesion responsible may be shortened to subdural.

In elderly patients, such as Hazel, and in those on blood-thinning drugs, the trauma required to incite events such as those in this tale may be minor or even subliminal.


To resume daily titillations on our blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE. Once you arrive, you can select your time frame of interest from the calendar-based listings in the righthand margin, and check the daily offerings for any month in the years 2020 to the present. (As of September 2022, there are 1000 entries available on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.)

Thursday, 10 November 2022




Now on me falls the gruesomest onus,

To describe Zeus's dad, god named Cronus:

Maimed his Pa, this bad dude,

Then devoured his own brood.

Zeus escaped, then dethroned him. A bonus!

Dr G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022    
(OEDILF #113710)

Authors' Note: The nasty Greek deity Cronus, (sometimes transcribed as Kronos) has intermittently been conflated with the Father Time-like figure Chronos, but eventually merged with the more benign Roman god Saturn, for whom Saturday, the planet Saturn, and the harvest festival saturnalia are named.

In the harsh Greek version of the myth, the youth Cronus castrates his father, Uranus, at the urging of his peevish mother Gaia. Later, Cronus learns that he, too, is fated to be overturned by his own offspring, and devours them, except for Zeus, who escapes and eventually does overthrow him to become king of the gods.


The mere concept can give you a fright:

Should that asteroid, Eos, alight

On Earth's landmass, the force,

Raising dust, fine and coarse,

Might bring eons of Dawn's endless night.
Dr G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022    OEDILF #115472
Author's Note: The asteroid known by astronomers as 221 Eos is apparently a large orbiting body with a diameter of over 100 km. It has a potential, should it strike the Earth, to bring about an extinction similar to that produced 60 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaur population.
  Like most heavenly bodies, this one was named after a figure from Greco-Roman mythology, Eos (Aurora), the Goddess of Dawn; the irony is apparent. Click HERE for another nonsensical poem about Aurora/Eos and learn more about the legend.

GALATEA ("My Fair Lady")

There's a sculptor from old Nicosia,

Whose kits you can buy at Ikea.

That instills a new life

In your fetish or wife

(Help from Venus worth mention).

Pygmalion's invention:

Animation for nymph Galatea.
Dr G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022
Authors' Note: The ancient Greek myth about the Cypriot sculptor Pygmalion was recounted by the Roman poet Ovid in his epic work "Metamorphoses" in 8CE. The name of Pygmalion's self-crafted ivory love-object was not recorded until French romanticists picked up the issue in the 19th century. In 1871, the British comic playwright W.S. Gilbert composed a modernized spoof in blank verse, "Pygmalion and Galatea", that became a successful hit, as did "Pygmalion", George Bernard Shaw's theatrical contribution, and its musical and cinematic adaptations known as "My Fair Lady".


Wily Zeus, from Olympus, espied

Leggy Leda, King T.'s trophy bride.

He, disguised as a swan;

She, beguiled thereupon,

Later laid two eggs, took that in stride.

When she strayed, things got laid — cut and dried.

Dr G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022

Authors' Note: King T. refers to Sparta's King Tyndareus, husband of Leda. These characters in the story of "Leda and the Swan" were presumably mortal. However, relevant accounts, as depicted in literature and representative art, vary as to the mortal status of the couple's famous offspring (the twins Helen and Clytemnestra, and Castor and Pollux were hatched as human babies from the oversized eggs.)

"Leda and the Swan"
a subtle rendition with the swan at her feet,
see the posting "Greenhouse"


"Metamorphoses" -- born in Sulmona,

Where Ovidio dreamt he would own a

Collection of myths,

With a personal twist:

His anthology's tops in Ancona;

It's a hit from Milan to Verona!

(Get his app for your laptop or phone-a.) 

Dr G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022

Authors' Note: Sulmona is a town in Italy's Abruzzo region where the renowned Roman poet Ovid (Ovidio in modern italian), contemporary of Horace and Virgil, started writing his works in Latin. His magnum opus "Metamorphoses" is a monumental epic of 15 books, recounting chronologically the creation of the universe to the reign of Julius Caesar. It is the source of much of our knowledge of Greco-Roman myth, although often recounted with a personal twist. 

Saturday, 5 November 2022

A selection of ECTO-PARASITES



Siphonaptera, order of fleas:

Species? Twenty-five hundred of these.

Each selects its key host,

Feeds and breeds, then can boast,

"We bring itch, infestation, disease."

Ectoparasites, sure to displease.

 Dr G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022
Authors' Note: The fleas, wingless blood-sucking hopping insects, infest and make miserable a variety of warm-blooded host species including most famously man and dog. In America, the vast majority of infestations of domestic pests involve the cat fleaCtenophalides felis.


C. felis, its species, the cat flea:

Rented carpeted condo? Yes, that flea.

Former tenant's dog Will

Wore a flea-collar; still,

His tormentors remain as our flat flea.

 Dr G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022

Authors' Note: (tee-no-seh-FA-li-deez FEE-luhs).
As discussed in our previous verse on fleas, our voracious protagonist, Ctenocephalides felis, is the chief ectoparasite inflicting misery on canines in North America. Unfortunately, its life-cycle — egg, larva, pupa, adult (the hopping wingless blood-sucker), can result in its persistence for up to a year in a warm environment, like the carpet in your rented flat (apartment). In the absence of its usual victims, the flea will consider humans as a predation target of secondary interest. Another piece of bad news is that, through longstanding attempts at control, the species is becoming resistant to insecticides.


To H. suis, the prevalent swine louse:

"Midst blood-sucking lice, you're a fine louse.

Shunning me and my dog,

You live high on the hog.

You're a blight, but the fright isn't mine, louse."

 Dr G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022

Authors' Note: This agricultural pest, Haematopinus suis, commonly known as the hog louse, lives its life only on porcine hosts, with the larvae (nymphs) concentrating on the head region. Apparently, infestations of swine herds can be treated easily with avermectins, a class of veterinary antibiotics.


Folks acquire by means many and various

Infestations with C. lectularius.

There's a recent resurgence

(They resist most detergents;

On vacation you're heading?

No! Stay home. Clean your bedding.)

Of this blood-sucking bedthug nefarious.

Dr.G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2022 

Authors' Note:  Details of the legend: The protagonist needed some vacation following a busy time of downsizing and changing residences. A few days prior to taking off on Snowbird flight 203, it became obvious that a domestic infestation of bedbugs, presumably acquired during the household move, had pre-empted his search for a subtropical respite. 


To resume daily titillations on our blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE. Once you arrive, you can select your time frame of interest from the calendar-based listings in the righthand margin, and check the daily offerings for any month in the years 2020 to the present. (As of September 2022, there are 1000 entries available on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.)