Contagions Round-up 19: Loads of Links for Year’s End

Since my usual fare is not very festive, I’m going to wrap up this year with round-ups and similar stuff.

Holiday Posts

Fungal art from sciencingsara.tumblr.com h/t to The Febrile Muse

A Schooner of Science brings us the science of holly.

Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog brings us a holiday update and some holiday riddles.

Jonathan Jarrett of A Corner of Tenth Century Europe brings us a Christmas Charter madlib if you have any disposable land to unload.

Carl Pyrdum of Got Medieval brings us the war on ChristmasUther’s Christmas Knight, and a new medieval marginalia. He also has a guest post by Sir Ten-to-Three on Christmas Past.

Puff the Mutant Dragon brings us the history and science of the Poinsettia.

William Eamon of the Labrynth of Nature brings us the story of Johannes Kepler and the Star of Bethleham.

Continuity of history and science

Continuing with  history of science, Kate Stidham of the group blog Wonders and Marvels tells us about a 17th century text called the Compleat Midwife Practice and its complicated authorship and Lauren Renaud tells us about how the dental woes of the Sun King led to the profession of dentistry.

The History of Vaccines Blog brings us news that mammalian cell lines will be used to produce new influenza vaccines, replacing the 50-year-old egg method. This is also covered by Vincent Rancello of the Virology Blog who argues that this is not the direction we need to be going and also a post on the Megavirus, the largest virus ever found.

Puff the Mutant Dragon also brings us up to date on the recent controversy over lab-bred avian flu and fears that it is a biosecurity risk.

Jennifer Frazer of The Artful Amoeba has a post on the toxic vapors produced by red-tides in the Gulf of Mexico and another on  brain-eating amoebas.

Michael Walsh of Infectious Landscape brings us up-to-date on Amoebaosis of the GI system, sometimes referred to as amoebic dysentery. At his Germscape microblog, Michael Walsh has posted several recent maps on malaria epidemiology, the most recent one can be found here but browse the last several posts for more on malaria. He has also posted the 2011 map of West Nile virus transmission in the European Union.

Maryn McKenna of Superbug has been busy with her bad bugs. Lets start with a good post on the dangers of sleeping with your pet, then on the FDAs failure to stop agricultural antibiotic abuse, and wind up with fecal transplants.

Anthropology

Anthropologist Kate Clancy of Context and Variation writes an important post on the role of science blogging in academia.

Krystal D’Costa of Anthropology in Practice is thinking about toys and finding marbles, and why we deny the sick role.

Patrick Clarkin has an interesting post on the growth differences in growing up in North Korea and South Korea and a post on the opportunity costs of war.

Katy Meyer of  Bones Don’t Lie writes about height variation in medieval Italy, on her frustration over a lack of aging standards for human remains, and about cranial modification (or the original cone heads) and still no discussion of the Huns!!!

Medieval Miscellany

I wrote about an outbreak of plague in Lombardy in the 560s on my blog Heavenfield.

Tim Clarkson of Senchus asks if Merlin really existed?

Mak Wilson of Badonicus writes a two-part post on the mysterious Attacotti people of Roman Britain. Part two is here.

Guy Halsall of Historian on the Edge revisits good ole King Chilperic.

Jonathan Jarrett of A Corner of the Tenth Century brings us a little propaganda stamped right into coinage during the Investiture Controversy.

Esmerald’s Cumbrian History and Folklore explains the relationship between folklore of elf-shot by mermaids and some of our modern medical terms.

Have a Happy New Year and I’ll be back with new content after the New Year.