A few disturbing things I have learned recently...
Anthropodermic bibliopegy refers to the practice of binding books with human skin.
This was often done with the skins of executed criminals in the 17th,
18th and 19th centuries; although skins were obtained from other people
as well, most notably the anonymous dead who were dissected.
Kellogg's Cornflakes were developed by Dr John Harvey Kellogg who believed that a diet rich in fiber and poor in taste would keep people from engaging in lustful acts.
There is a website devoted to everything about the guillotine. It even has instructions on how to make your own.
There is an organization based in Switzerland that helps people with terminal illness and severe physical and mental illnesses to die, assisted by qualified doctors and nurse.
When a person is hanged, the
hyoid bone, which is located inside the larynx (voice box) and sits at the base of
the tongue, is encased in muscles and ligaments and therefore very well
protected from breakage and injury. However, during slow strangulation,
the hyoid begins to crack, eventually snapping in two. A person can
dangle at the end of the noose for as long as his neck muscles
will allow. In some cases, this can be as long as 30 minutes. Apparently there was a malevolent executioner in Ireland that knew the shorter the rope, the longer it would take his victim to die.
After the disaster of Hurricane Katrina, there was a hospital in New Orleans where over 40 corpses were found. They had not died because of the hurricane; they had dies because a doctor and two nurses decided it was easier for them to be murdered than to be evacuated.
In 1985 it was still a common practice at hospitals to perform surgery -- major and minor surgery on infants without any anesthetic, only with muscle relaxants to keep the child from moving while the surgery was being performed. Surveys of medical professionals indicate that as recently as 1986
infants as old as 15 months were receiving no anesthesia during surgery
at most American hospitals.