Saturday, October 27, 2012


I did a bit of Halloween research, trying to see if the liver had a role in this spooky holiday, and found out about hepatoscopy, or the dark art of liver divination. The Babylonians practiced hepatoscopy, usually using a sheep’s liver to discover the will of the gods. Supposedly, the priest could read signs provided by the liver.
I guess hepatoscopy is still practiced today—it is called the liver biopsy. The pathologist looks at the liver and says, “If he doesn’t stop drinking soon, he’ll die.”
Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Myth of Prometheus

One of the astonishing facts about the liver is that the early Greeks knew about this organ’s amazing power to regenerate. We know the Greeks knew because of the myth of Prometheus, which was handed down for thousands of years. Prometheus stole fire from the gods, so Zeus punished Prometheus by tying him up and every day an eagle would peck out his liver. At night, his liver would mend, so the eagle could gnaw at it again the next day. Although this exaggerates the capability of the liver, it illustrates that the Greeks recognized the awesome ability of the liver to recover.
What I want to know is this:
  1. What sort of demented torture is this, and doesn’t that suggest that Zeus was really messed up to think this up? Wouldn't water boarding be sufficient?
  2. How did Zeus know that the eagle would eat the liver? 
  3. Why did the eagle eat just the liver? While he was at it, why not peck at the heart and kidneys? That was one smart eagle if he knew he’d have a continuous source of meat if he just practiced a little self-control.
  4. How could the eagle fly away after eating all that liver? The liver weighs 3 lbs, which would have made take-off a bit heavy for the eagle. 
Inquiring minds want to know…

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy Blog Day

I started this blog in 2009. Three years of trying to find amusing things to say about the liver or having hepatitis C. Yup, either I am completely nuts, or I have hepatitic encephalopathy. I will say that liver comedy is not really catching on. Jerry Seinfeld is not knocking at my door.
After this many years, finding material is tough. I probably have a better chance of being a transplant recipient than with coming up with something hilarious to say about having hep C. I can just see my stand-up comedy routine:
Q: “What did the comedian say to his friend after finding out he had hepatitis C?”
A: “No joke?”
Yup, the material is drying up in Hepville. I may be forced to make gall bladder jokes, except they all seem so bile. The pancreas is soooo much funnier. I mean really, an organ that has the Islets of Langerhans is ripe for comedy.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Merriam Webster Goes Viral

Merriam Webster added new words to its 2012 dictionary, such as earworm (“a song or melody that keeps repeating in one's mind”), sexting (“the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone”), and f-bomb (“a lighthearted and printable euphemism”).
After viewing the list, I looked up one of the most common maladies that those with hepatitis C complain of—brain fog. Although not official, it was listed on Merriam Webster’s slang submission webpage, sandwiched between brain fart and brain freeze.
  • brain fog (noun) : the state of having fog in your brain that prevents clarity of thought or expression; pertaining to neurological and/or cognitive processes..” submitted by DeLinda Fink, North Carolina 1/31/200
Let's ask Merriam Webster’s to add brain fog to their 2013 dictionary, that is if I remember...