A teenager who couldn’t drink a glass of water without being sick was found to have a massive hair ball blocking her digestive system. Ayperi Alekseeva, from Kyrgyzstan, had spent years picking up hair from the carpet and eating it. She also chewed the tips of her hair. When she finally sought medical help, doctors pulled out a hairball weighing almost 9lb (4kg). They say without emergency surgery, the 18-year-old, who was badly dehydrated and malnourished, would almost certainly have died.
The Somerton Man: In the early hours of December 1, 1948 a dead body was found lying on Adelaide’s Somerton Beach. The man was judged to be in his early forties and in good physical condition. Curiously, all the labels were missing from his clothing, he had no identification and his dental records did not match any known person. Even the coroner and Scotland Yard had no luck finding out the man’s identity or cause of death. The mystery deepened when a piece of paper with the printed words “Tamam Shud” on it was discovered in a secret pocket concealed within the dead man’s trousers. The scrap of paper was traced to a rare edition of a book entitled The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the back of which contained some kind of a code. Numerous unsuccessful attempts by amateurs and professional codebreakers to crack it have failed. The identity of the deceased man and even the cause of death remain unsolved to this day. The case was never closed by the South Australian Major Crime Task Force and many individuals continue to work on it.
[Painting of Death as a spectral nanny taking a child and infant away from their bereaved family. A detail shows the family’s house number is 1918.]
I never realized this until seeing the detail, but this painting is most likely about the flu pandemic.