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Louis Braille

Louis Braille was a French educator, catholic priest and inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains unchanged to this day, is known worldwide as braille. Blinded in both eyes as a result of an early childhood accident, Louis Braille mastered his disability while still a boy, he received a scholarship to France's Royal Institute for Blind Youth. While still a student there, he began developing a system of tactile code that could allow blind people to read and write and efficiently. Inspired by the military cryptography of Charles Barbier, Braille constructed a new method built for the needs of the blind, he presented his work to his peers for the first time in 1824. In adulthood, Louis Braille served as a professor at the Institute and had an avocation as a musician, but he spent the remainder of his life refining and extending his system, it went unused by most educators for many years after his death, but posterity has recognized braille as a revolutionary invention, it has been adapted for use in languages worldwide.

Louis Braille was born in Coupvray, a small town about twenty miles east of Paris, on 4 January 1809. He and his three elder siblings – Monique Catherine, Louis-Simon, Marie Céline – lived with their parents, Simon-René and Monique, on three hectares of land and vineyards in the countryside. Simon-René maintained a successful enterprise as a maker of horse tack; as soon as he could walk, Braille spent time playing in his father's workshop. At the age of three, the child was playing with some of the tools, trying to make holes in a piece of leather with an awl. Squinting at the surface, he pressed down hard to drive the point in, the awl glanced across the tough leather and struck him in one of his eyes. A local physician bound and patched the affected eye and arranged for Braille to be met the next day in Paris by a surgeon, but no treatment could save the damaged organ. In agony, the young boy suffered for weeks as the wound became infected—an infection which spread to his other eye due to sympathetic ophthalmia.aLouis Braille survived the torment of the infection but by the age of five he was blind in both eyes.

Due to his young age, Braille did not realize at first that he had lost his sight, asked why it was always dark. His parents made many efforts – quite uncommon for the era – to raise their youngest child in a normal fashion, he prospered in their care, he learned to navigate the village and country paths with canes his father hewed for him, he grew up at peace with his disability. Braille's bright and creative mind impressed the local teachers and priests, he was accommodated with higher education. Braille studied in Coupvray until the age of ten; because of his combination of intelligence and diligence, Braille was permitted to attend one of the first schools for blind children in the world, the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, since renamed to the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris. Braille, the last of the family's children to leave the household, departed for the school in February 1819. At that time the Royal Institute was an underfunded, ramshackle affair, but it provided a stable environment for blind children to learn and associate together.

The children were taught how to read by a system devised by Valentin Haüy. Not blind himself, Haüy was a philanthropist, he designed and manufactured a small library of books for the children using a technique of embossing heavy paper with the raised imprints of Latin letters. Readers would trace their fingers over the text, comprehending but in a traditional fashion which Haüy could appreciate. Braille was helped by the Haüy books, but he despaired over their lack of depth: the amount of information kept in such books was small; because the raised letters were made in a complex artisanal process using wet paper pressed against copper wire, the children could not hope to "write" by themselves. So that the young Louis could send letters back home, Simon-René provided him with an alphabet made from bits of thick leather, it was a slow and cumbersome process, but the boy could at least trace the letters' outlines and write his first sentences. The handcrafted Haüy books all came in uncomfortable weights for children.

They were laboriously constructed fragile, expensive to obtain: when Haüy's school first opened, it had a total of three books. Nonetheless, Haüy promoted their use with zeal. To him, the books presented a system which would be approved by educators and indeed they seemed – to the sighted – to offer the best achievable results. Braille and his schoolmates, could detect all too well the books' crushing limitations. Nonetheless, Haüy's efforts still provided a breakthrough achievement – the recognition of the sense of touch as a workable strategy for sightless reading; the Haüy system's main drawback was that it was "talking to the fingers with the language of the eye". Braille read the Haüy books and he was attentive to the oral instruction offered by the school, he proved to be a proficient student and, after he had exhausted the school's curriculum, he was asked to remain as a teacher's aide. By 1833, he was elevated to a full professorship. For much of the rest of his life, Braille stayed at the Institute where he taught history and algebra.

Braille's ear for music enabled him to become an accomplished cellist and organist in classes taught by Jean-Nicolas Marrigues. In life

Jan van Nickelen

Jan van Nickelen, was a Dutch Golden Age painter. According to Houbraken he learned to paint from his father Isaak van Nickelen, who taught him perspective and who sent him to school to learn Latin and French, he was inventive and discovered an innovation in textile production, which he was unable to exploit due to lack of funds. He invented a new type of hard varnish, which he used in the production of chassinets, a painted silk backdrop for shadow plays and room screen decorations, his chassinets were popular with Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine, whom he met through his Amsterdam friend Herman van der Mijn and Jan Frans van Douven. He won a commission to make screens with views of his properties, Van der Mijn became the teacher of his daughter, the flower painter Jacoba Maria van Nickelen. After the death of the Elector in 1716 he moved to Kassel where he worked five years for the Landgrave on decorations for the residence "Slot Winterkaste" there, until his death cut the works short. According to the RKD He became a member of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke in 1688, moved to Dusseldorp in 1712, moved to Kassel in 1716.

Jan van Nickelen on Artnet

Cervical fracture

A cervical fracture called a broken neck, is a catastrophic fracture of any of the seven cervical vertebrae in the neck. Examples of common causes in humans are traffic collisions and diving into shallow water. Abnormal movement of neck bones or pieces of bone can cause a spinal cord injury resulting in loss of sensation, paralysis, or instant death. Considerable force is needed to cause a cervical fracture. Vehicle collisions and falls are common causes. A severe, sudden twist to the neck or a severe blow to the head or neck area can cause a cervical fracture. Sports that involve violent physical contact carry a risk of cervical fracture, including American football, association football, ice hockey and wrestling. Spearing an opponent in football or rugby, for instance, can cause a broken neck. Cervical fractures may be seen in some non-contact sports, such as gymnastics, diving, powerlifting, mountain biking, motor racing. Certain penetrating neck injuries can cause cervical fracture which can cause internal bleeding among other complications.

Hanging causes a cervical fracture which kills the victim. A medical history and physical examination can be sufficient in clearing the cervical spine. Notable clinical prediction rules to determine which patients need medical imaging are Canadian C-spine rule and the National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study. In children, a CT scan of the neck is indicated in more severe cases such as neurologic deficits, whereas X-ray is preferable in milder cases, by both US and UK guidelines. Swedish guidelines recommend CT rather than X-ray in all children over the age of 5. In adults, UK guidelines are similar as in children. US guidelines, on the other hand, recommend CT in all cases where medical imaging is indicated, that X-ray is only acceptable where CT is not available. On CT scan or X-ray, a cervical fracture may be directly visualized. In addition, indirect signs of injury by the vertebral column are incongruities of the vertebral lines, and/or increased thickness of the prevertebral space: There are proper names for several types of cervical fractures, including: Fracture of C1, including Jefferson fracture Fracture of C2, including Hangman's fracture Flexion teardrop fracture – a fracture of the anteroinferior aspect of a cervical vertebraThe AO Foundation has developed a descriptive system for cervical fractures, the AOSpine subaxial cervical spine fracture classification system.

The indication to surgically stabilize a cervical fracture can be estimated from the Subaxial Injury Classification. In this system, a score of 3 or less indicates that conservative management is appropriate, a score of 5 or more indicates that surgery is needed, a score of 4 is equivocal; the score is the sum from 3 different categories: morphology and ligaments, neurology: Complete immobilization of the head and neck should be done as early as possible and before moving the patient. Immobilization should remain in place until movement of the neck is proven safe. In the presence of severe head trauma, cervical fracture must be presumed. Immobilization is imperative to prevent further spinal cord injury; the only exceptions are when there is imminent danger from an external cause, such as becoming trapped in a burning building. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen, are contraindicated because they interfere with bone healing. Paracetamol is a better option. Patients with cervical fractures will be prescribed medication for pain control.

In the long term, physical therapy will be given to build strength in the muscles of the neck to increase stability and better protect the cervical spine. Collars and surgery can be used to immobilize and stabilize the neck after a cervical fracture. Minor fractures can be immobilized with a cervical collar without need for surgery. A soft collar is flexible and is the least limiting but can carry a high risk of further neck damage in patients with osteoporosis, it after healing has allowed the neck to become more stable. A range of manufactured rigid collars are used comprising a firm plastic bi-valved shell secured with Velcro straps and removable padded liners; the most prescribed are the Aspen, Miami J, Philadelphia collars. All these can be used with additional head extension pieces to increase stability. Rigid braces that support the head and chest are prescribed. Examples include the Sterno-Occipital Mandibular Immobilization Device, Lerman Minerva and Yale types. Special patients, such as young children or non-cooperative adults, are sometimes still immobilized in medical plaster of paris casts, such as the Minerva cast.

Traction can be applied by free weights on a Halo type brace. The Halo brace is the most rigid cervical brace, used when limiting motion to the minimum, essential with unstable cervical fractures, it can provide support during the time needed for the cervical bones to heal. Surgery may be needed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. A variety of surgeries are available depending on the injury. Surgery to remove a damaged intervertebral disc may be done to relieve pressure on the spinal cord; the discs are cushions between the vertebrae. After the disc is removed, the vertebrae may be fused together to provide stability. Metal plates, screws, or wires may be needed to hold vertebrae or pieces in place. Arab physician and surgeon Ibn al-Quff described a treatment of cervical fractures through the oral route in his book Kitab al-ʿUmda fı Ṣinaʿa a