“Want to walk through the colon?” Sure we do. After all, what better way to spend a sunny Friday lunch hour than walking through a giant, inflatable, cancer-ridden colon?
“You’re kind of tall, so you’ll have to bend over,” laughs Kristy Spade, manager of marketing and communications for the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, which brought the so-called Super Colon to Rash Field on March 17 in honor of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. “Get it?”
Oh, we get it. But while Newshole appreciates a good rectal-exam joke as much as anyone, colorectal cancer is no laughing matter. For a few good reasons, the Super Colon—an eight-foot-high, 20-foot-long inflatable colon with simulated tissue samples (ranging from “healthy colon” to “polyps” to “advanced cancer,” which looks a bit like a balloon someone took an acetylene torch to)—isn’t sexy like your standard science museum display giant hearts and brains. For one thing, it’s a colon. In addition, it represents colorectal cancer, a diseases that is treatable and preventable through regular screenings and changes in diet and exercise but still remains the second-largest cancer killer in America. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 2,750 Maryland residents will be diagnosed with the disease in 2006. Nearly half of those will eventually die from it.
Visitors to the Super Colon received informational handouts on the disease and blue rubber bracelets that read colorectal cancer: preventable. beatable. treatable. “People are encouraged to pass the bracelet off to someone else once they’ve been screened” for colorectal cancer, Spade says. The Super Colon was in town for one day only, but its next stop is Potomac Park in Washington, on March 25. In the meantime, you can learn more at preventcancer.org.
Chronicles of Old Baltimore
Free State Not Free, Lawyer Finds. And now it appears the Free State hasn’t been free since 1723, when a law against blasphemy, still on the books, was enacted. That startling bit of near-blasphemy in itself was uttered last night by B. H. Hartogensis, Baltimore attorney, in addressing the Menorah Lodge, Independent Order of B’nai B’rith, at its Maryland Day celebration. Maryland’s 1924 criminal code, Hartogensis said, includes a statute enacted 203 years ago which says: “If any person, by writing or speaking, shall blaspheme or curse God, or shall write or utter any profane words of and concerning our Saviour Jesus Christ, or of and concerning the Trinity, or any of the persons thereof, he shall, on conviction, be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both fine and imprisoned as aforesaid, at the discretion of the court.”