Sunday, January 1, 2012

Quigley's top 10

Happy New Year! On this 1st day of 2012, I offer you a look back at what I consider to be my best blog posts of last year (in descending order), for the reasons indicated:

My favorite post of the year demonstrates the coincidences and collegiality I revel in: 1) I blogged about pica, 2) within minutes I heard from an artist follower who did a collage series based on swallowed objects - and whose friend was writing a book about the doctor who collected them, 3) I arrange to review the book in Fortean Times, 4) my 90-year-old friend reads the review and tells me that Dr. Chevalier had treated her baby in 1943! Added bonus: A contemporary story about a woman who swallowed silverware and was x-rayed with a stomach full of forks and spoons.

I find it especially interesting when 2 or more of my interests (here taxidermy and history) intersect, so I was amazed to know that the hide of the very cow that gave birth to immunology had been preserved. Added bonus: The glowing response I received from the immunologist whose photos I used, who signed it, "Poxicologically yours."

When I read an article forwarded by a follower about the archaeological discovery of a pair of skeletons found with hands clasped, I was able to find several other examples. Added bonus: I love a morbid topic!

I love to compile a list, but not just a list for its own sake - in this case, of something I was curious to know and happy to research. Added bonus: The strangely angled photo of the book returned in 2009, 99 years past due.

Here I was able to share a bit of knowledge I had picked up only the day before from a TV documentary and to sort through many gorgeous images of these formations. Added bonus: Including them in Quigley's Cabinet is almost as good as owning one!

Because I pride myself on doing something more than simply repeating a weird news story, I was glad a recent interview reminded me that I had read about someone with the same taste not long before, so that I could compare them. Added bonus: I included their descriptions of the taste, similar to what I had done in Audubon ate 'em.

This post represents my persistence in sorting out the details in a number of accounts of a compelling story so that I can offer something both succinct and thorough. Added bonus: Positive feedback was welcome recompense for the hours I put into this one.

As with the beaver post above, I had great satisfaction in juxtaposing 2 similar stories - in this case, about art projects - that I read about in the weird news. Added bonus: The photos of the artists paired up perfectly.

With this post, I combined a bit of reminiscence with research that led to the surprising fact that this art installation, which I had thought was temporary, is still being maintained after 30+ years. Added bonus: The link to a video of the caretaker.

Combining a remarkable fossil with an unusual size scale makes for a great photo - and a not-so-lengthy blog post. Added bonus: I was reminded of (and linked to) the work of one of my favorite photographers.


I am a writer of nonfiction diagnosed with MS in 1991 (I write about that occasionally in the Health Diary on my blog). I went on long-term medical leave after working at Georgetown University for 22 years. I have been blogging daily since Sept. 2008 with no plans to quit.

Now that I've compiled this sampling, I could use your help in boosting my readership. If you would kindly e-mail, share, retweet, etc., this link to your own friends and followers, I would be grateful. This is a labor of love and I do not intend to commercialize Quigley's Cabinet, but I do like an audience, and continue to appreciate your comments and suggestions. Thanks, and wishing a happy and healthy new year to you all!

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