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Posts Tagged ‘Yellow Fever

“Francie, huddled with other children of her kind, learned more that first day than she realized. She learned of the class system of a great Democracy.”*…

 

yellow fever

Engraving from a series of images titled “The Great Yellow Fever Scourge — Incidents Of Its Horrors In The Most Fatal District Of The Southern States.”

 

Some people say New Orleans is haunted because of witches. Others say it’s haunted by vampires, or ghosts, or all those swamps. But if you were around between 1817 and 1905, you might say the city was haunted by death. And that death, in large part, was caused by yellow fever.

Yellow fever was fatal. It was gruesome. And in epidemic years, during the months between July and October, it could wipe out 10 percent of the city’s population. Eventually, it earned New Orleans the nickname “Necropolis” — city of the dead.

Yellow fever didn’t just kill. It created an entire social structure based on who had survived the virus, who was likely to survive it and who was not long for this world. And that structure had everything to do with immigration and slavery…

The insidious way in which illness can shape society: “How Yellow Fever Turned New Orleans Into The ‘City Of The Dead‘.”

* Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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As we get our flu shots, we might send healing birthday greetings to Florence Rena Sabin; she was born on this date in 1871.  A pioneer for women in science; she was the first woman to hold a full professorship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the first woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and the first woman to head a department at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.  Relevantly to today’s post, at Rockefeller she founded the cellular immunology section, where she researched the body’s white blood cells reaction to tuberculosis infection.

400px-Florence_Sabin_in_Rockefeller_lab source

 

Written by LW

November 9, 2018 at 1:01 am

“Nature. Cheaper than therapy.”*…

 

From Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom

A list of summer camp names found in movies, television shows and books: “Fictional Camps.”

* Popular slogan on Pinterest and Etsy

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As we pack an extra towel, we might send birthday greetings soaked in repellant to Drell Marston Bates; he was born on this date in 1906.  One of the world’s leading experts on mosquitoes, his work for the Rockefeller Foundation led to the understanding of the epidemiology of yellow fever.

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Written by LW

July 23, 2016 at 1:01 am

Well, it’s true that they both react poorly to showers…

 

Randall Munroe (xkcd) riffs on the same chatbot-to-chatbot conversation featured here some days ago…

 

As we celebrate our essential humanity, we might recall that it was on this date in 1900 that Jesse Lazear, a then-34-year-old physician working in Cuba to understand the transmission of yellow fever, experimented on himself, allowing himself to be bitten by infected mosquitoes.  His death two weeks later confirmed that mosquitoes are in fact the carriers of the disease.

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“Are you feeling nostalgic?” asked Tom in passing….

In 1914, American chemist John J. Porter produced the first line of chemistry sets, “Chemcraft.”  It was such a hit that a few years later, science fanatic A.C. Gilbert, maker of Erector Sets and, later, American Flyer model trains, put out his own. At the time, it was understood these kits were not just amusements but tools to groom young men– and at the time, it was “young men“– for careers in science.

Since then, budding scientists have found other encouragement on toy store shelves as well:  The Atomic Energy Lab, The Ant Farm, The Visible Man (and finally, Woman)…

But neither Porter nor Gilbert could even imagine the prospect of basement meth labs or terrorist bomb factories, nor for that matter, the explosion of product liability suits… Indeed, since the days of those earliest offers– which featured all sorts of dangerous, thus entertaining, substances– chemistry sets have been progressively denatured…  leading Collectors Weekly to ask: which are better: science toys of the past or those of the present?  (Includes a nifty shout out to our Friends at Make…)

…If you think that, in the past, there was some golden age of pleasure and plenty to which you would, if you were able, transport yourself, let me say one single word: “dentistry.”
– P.J. O’Rourke

As we slip on our protective goggles, we might wish a bite-free birthday to zoologist Marston Bates; he was born on this date in 1906.  An expert on mosquitoes, his fieldwork in Albania, Egypt, and Columbia led to the development of the effective diagnoses, treatments, and ultimately prevention of Yellow Fever.

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