646 questionary condition, on and the capillary findings, psychophysical past and family histories of the pupils. The procedure has suffered fr...

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questionary condition,




capillary findings, psychophysical

past and family histories of the pupils.

The procedure has suffered from difficulty in interpreting the microscopical appearances of the nail capillaries, especially, as Leader’remarks, for those of imaginative disposition. There is a very wide and varied 5 range of the normal. Leader, and Wright and Duryee, quote stunted mental and physical, development, Raynaud’s and Buerger’s diseases, erythromelalgia, and other conditions as giving typical pictures, but such finding, muststill be suspected to vary with the observer. Davis emphasises the use of capillary’microscopy in the discovery of petechiae. Leader found no petechim in the nail-bed in patients with purpura and blood diseases, and some of the petechiae illustrated by Davis would have been described by Wright and Duryee as mere dilatations of one or both arms of the capillary loop, but there can be little doubt that they were in fact extravasations of blood. Davis says that " petechiae when first shed were obvious collections of red blood cells, later they became darker, and appeared as a rather homogeneous mass of pigment. If examined daily the petechiae moved further and further away from the capillaries, and faded." In a previous paper Davis 6 gave an imposing list of conditions in which purpura had been noted. Of his 500 cases, 63% were symptomatic purpuras, and the largest categories were benign purpuras, cardiovascular diseases including congestive failure, rheumatic diseases, and bacterial infections. The degree of purpura was often very slight. In his present paper, 533 unselected patients suffering from a variety of medical conditions were examined by capillary microscopy,and 100 of them (18-4%) showed petechiae in the nail-bed. It would be to know what percentage of these petechiae were in the arterio venous type of capillary and what percentage in the arterial type. More use could certainly be made of this simple investigation. Many of Davis’s patients showed petechiae in the nail-bed when no skin petechi2e were visible at any time, and in any of the numerous conditions in which purpura may be suspected the nail-bed should certainly be examined. The characteristic capillary pictures in vasomotor conditions, in preclubbing of the fingers, and in mental and physical retardation are easily memorised and sufliciently gross at times to rule out the need for imagination in their appreciation. Larger numbers of carefully observed cases must however be reported before the capillary pattern can provide a diagnosis without other stronger evidence.



FROSTED WARES How to spread the surplus of foods during gluts over periods of famine has been mankind’s problem from time He has tried salting, pickling, smoking, immemorial. drying, canning, cold storage,gas’ storage, and intense refrigeration, but all these processes are apt to affect both flavour and food value. Sometimes the flavour is improved, as in the canning of sardines. Usually it is changed, and even to some extent spoilt (e.g., canned apples). Rarely is the food value improved, though canners reasonably claim that the amount of vitamin C left in, say, canned asparagus or loganberries compares favourably with that of the raw materials bought on the open market and cooked at home. The ideal method of food preservation would deliver the food to the table in a state looking and tasting like the fresh material and with its food values unimpaired. The modern technique of " frosting " comes near to that ideal. In England the technique had made some progress before the late war, when quick-frozen peas and fruits The impact of war brought were already on the market. quick freezing to a standstill, but operations were 4.

Amer. J. Dis. Child. 1932, 44, 403. I. S., Duryee, A. W. Arch. intern. Med. 1933. 52, 545. E. Lancet, 1943, ii, 160.



Ih his Lloyd Roberts lecture at the Royal Society of Medicine last Monday Lord Montgomery spoke on Morale, with Particular Reference to the British Soldier. Training, he said, must from the first be directed to the selection of leaders and the infusion of discipline. In battle, the characters of some grow firmer, while the characters of others are disintegrated by fear or fatigue. Morale is a mental quality which maintains human dignity and develops latent heroism : high morale draws a man forward against his own desires. It is not toughness, though tough men may occasionally perform isolated acts of bravery. Four basic factors’ are essential to high morale: leadership, discipline, comradeship, and self-respect. Good morale is impossible without good leaders ; all men are frightened at one time or another, and then they band themselves together and seek a leader. Fear makes men sluggish and indecisive, and the leader’s power depends on his capacity to cut through this fear paralysis by decision ; the nature of the decision is less important than the fact that it is made and announced with confidence ; the junior leader’s greatest asset is an ability to act normally in abnormal conditions, and to think rationallv when his men have ceased to think. The object of is the conquest of fear, whether fear attacking through the imagination as by the sight of a corpse at the roadside-or fear promoted by periods of inaction. The awareness of danger, which is the basis of fear, can be partly overcome by teaching the soldier to lose his individuality and to think of himself as a member of a large of men, such as a battalion. To give of their best men must be united : and obedience is essential so that they comply with orders which run counter to their instincts. Discipline implies, too, a sense of duty which, for the soldier in battle, extends only to the men around



Leader, S. D.

5. Wright, 6.

resumed in the spring of this year. In the United States the process has gone so far ahead that the housewife who likes to bake her own bread but hates the preliminaries can buy frozen dough from the " stores " and only has to thaw it and put it in the oven. The American mother,l mustering her family for the midday meal, now calls : Get ready, everybody. Dinner’s almost thawed out." Before, however, we can all enjoy the luxury of frosted foods the special refrigerators must be installed by distributors. None the less, one British firm2 is going ahead and soon will be offering us french beans, runner beans, garden peas, and sliced cucumbers out of season in much the same appearance and flavour as they would have in season. When restrictions are removed, frosted strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and currants will be offered to the purchaser in much the same way. The method for peas is to shell, blanch, and grade them. The blanching (which consists in heating them for 1/z minutes to a temperature of 185° F) is necessary to destroy enzymes, particularly the oxidases. The graded peas are weighed into cartons, and the wrapped cartons are then passed to the air blast tunnel, where they meet a current of air cooled to -35° F. On emerging from the tunnel thev are stored at 0° F. Months afterwards the peas when thawed are difficult to distinguish from fresh garden peas. Moreover their vitamin A is unimpaired, and their vitamin C, when cooked, is much the same as that of home-cooked or of canned peas. The technique is young in this country and must make its way against formidable obstacles ; but in the United States, where it is older and has been encouraged rather than discouraged by war conditions, some say that it will not be long before the consumer’s choice will be about equally divided between fresh, canned, and quick-frozen (i.e., frosted) foods.


1. New Yorker, August 10, 1946, p. 20. 2. Crosbie-Walsh, T. Food Manufacture, 1946,

21, 417.