Camel Racing – Myths & Facts

robot-on-camel

As a first year vet student I get a lot of questions about camel racing. So I thought I would write a post addressing some of the common misconceptions around, what is widely considered, the most popular spectator sport in the Middle East. Also, FYI all of this information is actually true.

Myth: Camel racing is the most popular spectator sport in the Middle East.

Fact: Camel racing is very popular, but is not the most popular spectator sport in the Middle East. It is very popular though. Very popular.

Myth: Camel racing jockeys are often attained through human trafficking rings.

Fact: Camel jockeys are manufactured in Europe somewhere.

Myth: Velcro is used to fasten children to the camel which then travels at breakneck speeds, often killing the child.

Fact: Child mortality rates for camel racing were quite low, and now are approaching zero since they replaced the use of children with androids in 2005. Sometimes the robotic jockeys “go haywire” and so the child mortality rate is still not “zero”. But it’s pretty close to zero.

Myth: Robotic jockeys don’t work as well as children with Velcro.

Fact: Children are shitty jockeys. Robots controlled by a professional camel trainer, riding beside the camel racing track in an SUV is far superior to whiny fragile brats that bring claims of human rights abuses.

Myth: Robotic jockeys whip and torture camels.

Fact: The latest models of robot jockeys take animal rights concerns into account by replacing their robotic whips with directional speakers capable of projecting the sound of a cracking whip above the head of the camel.

Here is a video of camels racing. Make sure you watch the whole thing. Otherwise it doesn’t make much sense.

This post written under the influence of Black Box Cab Sav.

The Bile Canaliculi w/ Hamms & Wine

“Now, why is the stomach surrounded by the liver? Is it in order that the liver may warm it and it may in turn warm the food? This is indeed the very reason why it is closely clasped by the lobes of the liver, as if by fingers.” — Galen, ca. 200 A.D

Not much got past old Galen, and this is no exception. The liver does indeed surround the stomach. The stomach is where food goes. But what have we learned since Galen schooled the world on the warm gooey tasty organ? Do we still only appreciate the liver for its ability to soothe our food into a warm poo?

I will answer this question through a series of riddles, each more devious and cryptic that the one before. In my experience, that is the best way to explain things.

Riddle # 1
For the love
of thee bovine
I lay in woe
I sip my wine
but when grandpa death
knocks on thy door
tis this organ I abhor.

Explanation # 1 – I bet you thought the riddle has something to do with the liver metabolizing ethanol. Nope. Cows don’t drink alcohol. This riddle is through the viewpoint of a cow and the wine they are sipping is meant to be symbolic. The cow is really depressed because there was a bull that didn’t notice them so the cow was comfort eating some fatty foods and all the fat was metabolized by the liver. The cow got hepatic lipidosis and died. We now know that the liver metabolizes fat, but if it gets too much it sucks at it.

Riddle #2
Fell from over under throws
The caper stones whining to and fro
Through central ducts
The shit goes quick
It’s quick as fuck
But where it goes
we do not know
But now we do
from science books

Explanation #2 – Yea this one is a bit harder I know. Let me break it down. The falling refers to the draining of the veins from the digestive tract. All the blood from the digestive tract empties into the liver through a big vein called the “Portal Vein.” The caper stones it refers to are the oxygenated red blood cells which also empty into the liver through the hepatic artery. The whining to and fro is because they get all mixed when they enter the liver lobules through the hepatic triad. They empty into the central veins at the center of the lobules. It’s not super fast like the riddle, thats just a little embellishing to make it exciting. It goes at normal blood pace. All the science books tell us that stuff.

Riddle #3
From chamber tombs
to emporeress wombs
the fire for
burrito booms
and once duodenal
this fire takes
these chamber wombs
the water breaks
and with this water
flowing free
unwrap burrito
fed to me

Explanation #3 – Alright, I do admit that this one is pretty cryptic. Maybe too cryptic. But encapsulated in this is one of the greatest messages of all. Knowledge. The chamber tombs are just the parenchymal cells of the liver which make up the sinusoids of the lobules. While the sinusoids empty into the central vein like riddle #2 showed us, the cells themselves are connected by emporeress wombs. These are bile canaliculi that connect the cells through tight junctions and allow for the flow of bile to the draining bile duct of the portal triad. The “fire for the burrito booms” is the bile being released to help digest the fatty burrito. That’s why it gets released and unwraps the fat from the burrito by helping dissolve it in the duodenum. This fat forms chylomicrons in the intestinal lumen cells which makes its way into blood and lymph to get distributed through the body.

In summary, we have learned a lot since the days of Galen, but we are still indebted to him for getting the ball rolling and providing the initial insight that showed that the liver is definitely a real must.

This was written under the guidance of Hamms beer and Bota Box Cab Sav.