Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Watch New Tricks Season 8 Episode 1 Old Fossils

    A "good reason" to put a frog to your mouth is to drink the water that is inside of it. The water holding frog (Litoria paltycephala) is an Australian frog that engorges itself before going dormant, and is a source of potable water for a person in need. It was first discovered by the Aborigines. The dormant period it spends in the summer is underground and for several months, as mammals do in the winter. This summertime variation of hibernation is called estivation.
    Vaccination was discovered in the early 19th century. Edward Jenner discovered that if you were injected with cowpox, you would be immune to smallpox. Around 1809, the infant son of the King of Spain died of smallpox, and it was declared that everyone in Spain's colonies in South America must be vaccinated. To get the vaccine to the settlements, which were months away by sea, the Spanish government's solution was to gather a load of orphans, and infect them with the vaccine, allowing the blood to develop antibodies and develop an immunity. The technique was successful, saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

    Tangent: Smallpox is a nearly extinct disease; with technology and medical health advancements, the disease has nearly been eradicated. In 2002 it was decided that perhaps humanity doesn't have the right to wipe it out entirely, so a small sample has been saved- especially if a vaccine is needed to be made, though it is also feared that another sample may be used to make biological weapons.
    Tangent: In the 18th century, it was more likely for you to get a job if you had smallpox scars. It showed the potential employer that you had already had the disease and were not able to pass along the disease to your employers.

    Handbooks for travelers from 19th century had often strange advice:
        "Never rub your eyes except with your elbow." Taken from a handbook for travellers in Spain by Richard Ford in 1847.
        "Keep a spare jewel in case of emergencies in your arm." Taken from The Art of Travel; or, Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries by Sir Francis Galton in 1872.
        "Beware the dirty habits of the native cooks, who will often be seen buttering toast with the greasy wing of a fowl." Taken from Hardships in Travel Made Easy.
        "The Germans are the worst offenders, having a grossness in their way of eating and a gloating zeal in collecting salacious postcards." Also taken from Hardships in Travel Made Easy.

No comments:

Post a Comment