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  • Page 135 of the Curiosity CLXXV catalogue

    "Peering into one of them could, for instance, reveal musical instruments from the South African College of Music’s Kirby collection; old wooden mathematical models of abaci and polyhedrons from the Maths department; mobiles demonstrating platonic solids made by mechanical engineering students; publications by a UCT Professor of Astronomy; a sign pointing to ward D10 from the old section of Groote Schuur Hospital; glass slides once used as a teaching aid for art history at Michaelis; bird ringing material from the Avian Demography unit; and a bottle-brush plant labelled by the son of one of the curators" (Liebenberg 2021: 179).
  • Dogs in the Heart of Cape Town

    The guided tour of the museum, which commemorates the first heart transplant performed by Chris Barnard in 1967, starts with a representation of the car accident that provided the heart for the transplant, through to the animal lab where Barnard conducted experiments with over 50 dogs to perfect the technique of heart transplantation. From there one can tour a model of Denise Darvall's bedroom and Christiaan Barnard's office before seeing a recreation of the surgery in the actual operating theaters where it occurred.
  • Pattern recognition

    A display in Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town. The label reads: ​The History of Crockery Apartheid did more than separate the races. Parallel with the separate crockery for the different religions (Jewish = Blue; Muslim = Pink) was a range of separate crockery for the staff and patients of different races. Here are a few examples of this complex collection: ​Royal Blue: Jewish patients and staff (kosher) Dark Navy Blue: "European" patients Green: "European" staff Maroon: "Non European" patients Black: "Non European" staff Pink: Muslim patients and staff (halaal) ​These pieces of crockery are now part of our history and all patients are served meals in the standard rectangular crocker plate.
  • Skin

    I collected leaves from the gardens around Groote Schuur Hospital and gave them to UCT dermatologist Ranks Lehloenya for analysis. Using the strategy of directing insider focus to an outsider object, Lehloenya treated these specimens as sections of skin and read them accordingly, highlighting sections that showed signs of nummular eczema, acne, ageing, miliary tuberculosis and melanoma, to name a few (Liebenberg 2021: 277). This example was diagnosed as follows: "This section shows characteristics which could point at various causes. The darker raised sections could be blackheads as seen in acne (note the darker central area reminiscent of an open pore); villous hair cysts ( a condition in which hair follicles are trapped under the skin to form pimple-like structures with the hair giving a dark hue in the centre; syringomas (non-cancerous proliferation of sweat glands); infections such as chicken pox or miliary tuberculosis in which the infection spreads from the blood onto the skin (miliary mean it looks like a millet seed). It could also be metastatic melanoma that has spread from another area onto this skin".
  • Skin

    I collected leaves from the gardens around Groote Schuur Hospital and gave them to UCT dermatologist Ranks Lehloenya for analysis. Using the strategy of directing insider focus to an outsider object, Lehloenya treated these specimens as sections of skin and read them accordingly, highlighting sections that showed signs of nummular eczema, acne, ageing, miliary tuberculosis and melanoma, to name a few (Liebenberg 2021: 277). This example exhibits an annular pattern which could be an infection like a ringworm (fungus) and erythema migrans of Lyme’s disease; or inflammatory conditions like nummular eczema, erythema marginatum as seen in rheumatic fever and granuloma annulare.
  • Heart of Cape Town Museum

    Christiaan Barnard did forty-eight trial transplants with dogs before he undertook such an operation with a human being.
  • Electrocardiograph of first heart transplant

    “The ventricular peaks would shoot up as in wild flight, and their intermediate planes would begin to jumble against one another like the sudden crashing of cars on a freight-train. The heart’s beautiful symmetry would then be reduced to an erratic green line of wild jerks until it entered the final isoelectric phase resembling a sawtooth – jagged lines of the heart seeking to rise like a dying bird, fluttering upward, only to fall once again onto its flat plane of death” (Barnard in Young 2002: 79-80).
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