Monday, 24 September 2007

Sounds Unlikely

Taylorism is an old name for an ear condition, now called pressure-bonded tinnitus, which leads sufferers to hear sudden sounds which are not real. These noises are low and guttural and can sound like waves, cars or growling creatures. The condition is notable since the sounds sometimes trigger phantom sight phenomena - sufferers can momentarily see a wave or car lunge towards them.

Although the condition is not named after him, its most prominent victim was James Taylor Markham, an explorer and financier who travelled extensively in Southern Africa in the late 19th century. Markham had come to terms with his disability and had conditioned himself not to jolt or run when he heard or saw something unexpected. In 1902, he was charged and gored to death by a rhino in what is now Botswana.
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