Seeing as there was a Facebook meme going on a couple of days back about this subject, this may be relevant.
Not for the weak of stomach. The essay describes how a "surgeon" removed a tumor from Abigail "Nabby" Adams' breast in 1811, without the use of anesthesia. You have been warned. Thanks to Orac for the link. This is how it was done.
Warren then straddled Nabby's knees, leaned over her semi-reclined body, and went to work. He took the two-pronged fork and thrust it deep into the breast. With his left hand, he held onto the fork and raised up on it, lifting the breast from the chest wall. He reached over for the large razor and started slicing into the base of the breast, moving from the middle of her chest toward her left side. When the breast was completely severed, Warren lifted it away from Nabby's chest with the fork. But the tumor was larger and more widespread then he had anticipated. Hard knots of tumor could be felt in the lymph nodes under her left arm. He razored in there as well and pulled out nodes and tumor. Nabby grimaced and groaned, flinching and twisting in the chair, with blood staining her dress and Warren's shirt and pants. Her hair matted in sweat. Abigail, William, and Caroline turned away from the gruesome struggle. To stop the bleeding, Warren pulled a red-hot spatula from the oven and applied it several times to the wound, cauterizing the worst bleeding points. With each touch, steamy wisps of smoke hissed into the air and filled the room with the distinct smell of burning flesh. Warren then sutured the wounds, bandaged them, stepped back from Nabby, and mercifully told her that it was over. The whole procedure had taken less than twenty-five minutes, but it took more than an hour to dress the wounds. Abigail and Caroline then went to the surgical chair and helped Nabby pull her dress back over her left shoulder as modesty demanded. The four surgeons remained astonished that she had endured pain so stoically.What an unbelievable woman she must've been! Must've got her genes from mum (Apparently the first recorded use of "Mere paas maa hai." is from this era.) Abigail Adams (the mother, the daughter was named for her) was a major intellectual studmuffin. When her husband John Adams, later to be the second president of the newly formed United States, was part of the Continental Congress, trying to cobble together a constitutional form of government, she wrote him:
"...remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.And on slavery she
...explained that she doubted most of the Virginians had such "passion for Liberty" as they claimed they did, since they "deprive[d] their fellow Creatures" of freedom.Respect.
Tern, Tern, Tern
The Arctic tern undertakes a "colossal" (where colossus = 70,000 k.m.) journey every year from Greenland to the Weddell Sea. Scientist type fellows fitted the birdie type fellows with little tracking devices. Surprisingly, the devices don't work off of GPS or other such sat nav technologies. Instead
The devices record light intensity. This gives an estimate of the local day length, and the times of sunrise and sunset; and from this information it is possible to work out a geographical position of the birds.