President James A. Garfield spent his final few months being fed beef via his anus

(short thread, sources here:
During Charles Guiteau's trial for the murder of President James A. Garfield he said “I admit to shooting the president. It was the doctors who murdered him.”

Though I'm reluctant to say "this murderer has a point" he may be right, given the deadly surgeries and rectal feeding.
On July 2, 1881, Garfield was shot as he waited for a train to take him for his summer vacation, less than 4 months into his presidency. His assassin grazed him on the shoulder with one bullet, but the 2nd went through his first lumbar vertebra and lodged firmly in his abdomen.
A number of doctors rushed to attend to the President, one of whom named Dr Doctor Willard Bliss – if you can't trust a doctor whose first name is actually Doctor who can you trust – would go on to be Garfield's chief doctor over the next few months until his death.
It turns out that the best system for getting a doctor might not be to see who shows up and calls dibs, however, as many questions arose about his medical care, with quite a few of them being "what the fuck?".
The doctors on the scene attempted to remove the bullet through the time-honored method of jamming their (unwashed) fingers in there and seeing if they could wiggle it out, but with no luck.
Moving him back to the White House, they tried again to help the president by digging around with unwashed medical equipment inside his body without washing their hands first, a technique now known as "finishing the assassin's job".
In his determination to get the bullet out he and his team repeatedly introduced germs into the President's wounds over the next 9 weeks. To cap it all off, Garfield was given large doses of morphine for his pain, and also quinine for what they (wrongly) believed to be malaria.
The combined treatments left the President unable to keep much liquid and food down, which is when the good doctor began looking around for other access points for sustenance.

He was about to start shoving food into a sitting President's anus.
Before he did die, he had to endure nearly three months at the hands of a doctor who had an astonishing determination to feed him through his rectum.
First, Bliss tried feeding yolks of eggs up there (mixed with beef extract and whiskey) but decided to cease with this due to “annoying and offensive flatus". This symptom was promptly relieved by discontinuing the egg.
The egg was switched for cow's blood, but this didn't work out either as “the character of the ejecta” demonstrated (likely it rotted inside the President's rectum).
The team eventually settled on a mix that didn't cause odd smells, though that seems quite the low bar for successful medicine.
The idea of feeding through the rectum was popular at the time, though it has now been demonstrated to be an incredibly ineffective way of giving a patient calories or rehydrating them.
In fact, it was condemned as a medical procedure by many doctors after it was used by the CIA as a method of torture, under this excuse. It can lead to damage to the rectum, as well as problems such as the food rotting in their tract and prolapses.
The resulting infections from the surgeries ordered by Dr Bliss, combined with malnutrition caused by malaria treatment and rectal feeding ordered by Dr Bliss, are in the end what killed the President.
He was the first - and probably last, unless something brilliant happens to Trump - president to be beef anused to death.

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More from @JimMFelton

25 Nov
A short thread on the batshit theories Europeans had on where birds went in the winter a few centuries ago, and the even stupider way they found out the truth.

(Sources here: Image
For centuries, people in Europe didn't really know where birds went during the winter. It's not their fault, they had a lot on that kept them from investigating. It's hard to focus on "where did birb go?" when you're working on your main task of dying of the plague.
One theory, which went all the way back to Aristotle and ancient Greece, was that birds hibernated during the winter and that summer redstarts turned themselves into winter robins for the colder months, while garden warblers turn into blackcap warblers.
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I’ve hidden a signed copy on the Bakerloo line if anybody fancies it.

Had to restrain myself from saying “not a bomb” as I left it, obviously. Image
Ok, as has been noted, I am shit at hiding things
I’ve hidden another copy at Paddington (arm not included) Image
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In 1767 John Hunter took the yellowish penile discharge of a man he believed to have gonorrhea and rubbed it into a wound he'd created in his own penis.

He believed that gonorrhea and syphilis were two forms of the same disease. He was wrong.

[Very short thread]
At the time, both diseases were known as "the pox", despite different and distinct symptoms. Some were beginning to believe – correctly – that the two forms of pox were actually different diseases.
Hunter, however, thought that the difference in symptoms was a result of differences in the tissues infected. What's more, he was so confident he was willing to bet his own penis that he was correct.
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