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Friday, December 29, 2006

Interesting read of the day

The British Medical Journal publishes a paper co-authored by one Dan Meyer, who happens to be the executive director of the Sword Swallowers' Association International, located in Antioch, Tennessee (full disclosure: I grew up about 100 miles from Antioch). The article, "Sword swallowing and its side effects," reflects some important and timely research as New Year celebrations are around the corner with the accompanying temptations to try to swallow a sword or the like...remember kids, nothing good happens after 2am.

Here's a link to the article - it is worth a look, if only for the chuckles. The grand conclusion:
Sword swallowers run a higher risk of injury when they are distracted or adding embellishments to their performance, but injured performers have a better prognosis than patients who suffer iatrogenic perforation.
In other words, "sword swallowers are professionals and get up off the mat like Ben Roethlisberger."

I wonder if Mr. Meyer's conclusions were influenced by his position. Hmmmm.....

This study was a result of our year-long survey of 48 remaining sword swallowers around the world. My involvement was to contact each of the sword swallowers to get them to complete our comprehensive survey. Dr. Witcombe then took that data and compiled it into the conclusions in the study which were summarized in the article in the British Medical Journal. So Dr. Witcombe's conclusions were not influenced by my position. But thanks for asking!

All the best,

Dan Meyer
Executive Director
Sword Swallowers Association Int'l
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