On the Downsides to Inbreeding

Is there an upside? Maybe you have to do less wooing? Still…there are lots of downsides to inbreeding. And if you need proof (do you really need proof?), I present Exhibit A against marrying your cousin (or any other member of YOUR OWN FAMILY): Charles II of Spain. It isn’t pretty… Even the court painters couldn’t do anything to make him look better. Historians are … Continue reading On the Downsides to Inbreeding

That’s Really Going to Ruin Someone’s Whole Day

When I think of 18th century royal courts, lots of things immediately spring to mind: grand palaces done up as ornately as humanly possible, huge poofy dresses (panniers and bustles!), and staid, slightly inbred folks with awesome titles, like the Duke and Duchess of Whatnot and the Baron and Baroness Blah d’Blah. I’m sure Peterhof Palace, in St. Petersburg, Russia, once had all those things, … Continue reading That’s Really Going to Ruin Someone’s Whole Day

Hirsutism: It is What It Sounds Like

If you’ve watched a History Channel special on bearded ladies or werewolves (it’s okay if you haven’t, not everyone watches as much TV as I do), you’ve probably heard of hirsutism. If you think that the word sounds suspiciously like “hair suit”, you’d be exactly right! Hirsutism is a genetic issue that affects a relatively tiny proportion of the population. It affects more women than … Continue reading Hirsutism: It is What It Sounds Like