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1870s Horse Flu Epidemic Brought US Economy To Its Knees

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the pegasus-flu dept.

Biotech 118

Nemo the Magnificent writes with this excerpt from the University of Arizona: "A new study (paywalled) published in the journal Nature provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the evolutionary relationships of influenza virus across different host species over time... In the 1870s, an immense horse flu outbreak swept across North America. City by city and town by town, horses got sick and perhaps five percent of them died. Half of Boston burned down during the outbreak, because there were no horses to pull the pump wagons. In the West, the U.S. Cavalry was fighting the Apaches on foot because all the horses were sick... The horse flu outbreak pulled the rug out from under the economy.""

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ICF (5, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | about 7 months ago | (#46273049)

That's nothing. Just wait until the ICF hits (internal combustion flu). Tesla will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Re:ICF (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 7 months ago | (#46273061)

What a load of horse shit.

Re:ICF (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 7 months ago | (#46276587)

Runny, runny horse shit... along with horse vomit and a bunch of whinnying for the horse equivalent of chicken soup...

Re:ICF (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 7 months ago | (#46273191)

I think that happened during the seventies.

Re:ICF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273221)

The 1870s?

Re:ICF (2)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 7 months ago | (#46273255)

It seems to be a cyclical problem.

Re:ICF (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about 7 months ago | (#46273957)

Its a bellshaped curve, not a circle. And it is going to strike hard once it hits!
http://vimeo.com/34571708
(talk on the report requested by the US Department of Energy)

Re:ICF (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 7 months ago | (#46275083)

So it will affect Wankels even more?

Re:ICF (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 7 months ago | (#46273301)

Only until electron rabies sweeps the country and make all Teslas drive in reverse only...

Re:ICF (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 7 months ago | (#46274291)

Symptoms of this mystery illness: they catch fire for no reason...

Re:ICF (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 7 months ago | (#46277423)

So did my old Chevy. Citation: "Car Bombs" [kuro5hin.org] from The Paxil Diaries (in print soon).

Re:ICF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273331)

That's nothing. Just wait until the ICF hits (internal combustion flu). Tesla will be laughing all the way to the bank.

I prefer the far more likely future in which idiots like you have been engineered out of the gene
pool because society is no longer willing to incur the cost of your existence, and hybrid vehicles which
use electric motors and hydrogen fuel cells are the standard for personal transportation.

Re:ICF (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 7 months ago | (#46273559)

Just wait until the ICF hits (internal combustion flu). Tesla will be laughing all the way to the bank.

I think it's the other way around... Tesla cars, Boeing jets, and laptops before them have been catching the Lithium Flu. You'll know it when you see it, because it comes with *quite* the high fever...

Here's one Model S getting some medical attention. [turner.com]

Re:ICF (1)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#46273943)

And here's a lowly Chevy getting the sane treatment.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nasca... [foxsports.com]

Same disease it turns out.

Re:ICF (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46274633)

I think it's the other way around... Tesla cars, Boeing jets, and laptops before them have been catching the Lithium Flu. You'll know it when you see it, because it comes with *quite* the high fever...

...yet, still not quite the same level of fever as the internal combustion flu. And the transmission rate is significantly lower.

Re:ICF (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 7 months ago | (#46273669)

That's nothing. Just wait until the ICF hits (internal combustion flu). Tesla will be laughing all the way to the bank.

It's called peak oil.... it just got delayed by 10 to 20 years, perhaps, due to the introduction of fracking.

When gasoline is no longer available due to global or local resource shortages, or prices --- the same could occur again.

It may be even worse, since the petroleum products are not merely used to fuel our vehicles, BUT they are also required to produce fertilizers, so our farms can grow enough food for us to eat, AND required to produce plastics for new products that are critical to our daily lives.

Don't use technical terms unless you know their me (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46273883)

It's called peak oil.... it just got delayed by 10 to 20 years, perhaps, due to the introduction of fracking.

Don't use technical terms unless you know their meaning. Peak oil looks like it happened in 2008 because it's the maximum point on the graph of crude oil extraction over time. Gas from shale, coal, whatever is something else.
The term "peak oil" acquired a lot of baggage from people who liked to oversimplify things and pretend that crude oil was the only form of energy. The post above is a good example of being influenced by that baggage.

Re:ICF (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46274591)

We already know how to make biofuels which are 1:1 replacements for gasoline. The most notable is butanol, which Gevo and Butamax are fighting over the rights to produce. Except only Gevo is actually trying to sell fuel, and Butamax's patent was produced at a public university. That to me makes Butamax no better than patent trolls.

Peak oil (2)

swb (14022) | about 7 months ago | (#46274625)

Every time I hear about peak oil as a concept it gets turned into the idea we'll just run out, all at once.

Why won't the pricing mechanism of markets just raise the price over time and slow consumption, or increase the use of alternatives where they exist, increase research into improving or finding new alternatives? It will also affect choices, so as food prices increase because of fertilizer price increases people will choose food over, say, power boats.

Fracking is kind of the great example as well. AFAIK it was a known technique but not economically viable. As prices increased it was improved as a process and put into use because it was more economically viable at higher price levels.

I have read some arguments that claim significant economic disruption as oil prices cross a certain threshold creating an amplification effect. I think one example is the use of trucks for transportation -- the cost of shipping increases it makes other activities dependent on trucking not economically viable as the transportation costs exceed the marginal value of the thing being transported. I buy this, sort of, but it doesn't take into account the adaptation of the use of localized production or alternative products being used.

Overall I buy the idea that oil is a limited resource, but find the predictions of its increasing scarcity a lot less due to the complexity and sophistication of economies.

Re:Peak oil (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#46274735)

Every time I hear about peak oil as a concept it gets turned into the idea we'll just run out, all at once.

Why won't the pricing mechanism of markets just raise the price over time and slow consumption, or increase the use of alternatives where they exist, increase research into improving or finding new alternatives? It will also affect choices, so as food prices increase because of fertilizer price increases people will choose food over, say, power boats.

Fracking is kind of the great example as well. AFAIK it was a known technique but not economically viable. As prices increased it was improved as a process and put into use because it was more economically viable at higher price levels.

I have read some arguments that claim significant economic disruption as oil prices cross a certain threshold creating an amplification effect. I think one example is the use of trucks for transportation -- the cost of shipping increases it makes other activities dependent on trucking not economically viable as the transportation costs exceed the marginal value of the thing being transported. I buy this, sort of, but it doesn't take into account the adaptation of the use of localized production or alternative products being used.

Overall I buy the idea that oil is a limited resource, but find the predictions of its increasing scarcity a lot less due to the complexity and sophistication of economies.

That's hard to say because nothing is ever as simple as it ought to be. Pricing could slowly rise, but markets are often more likely to stampede. We could have alternative energy sources (and fertilizer sources) ready to roll, but the current energy barons don't want to risk the possibility that someone else could get rich instead of them and don't want cheaper energy as long as they can make more from oil. So alternative approaches are ignored, locked up, even suppressed in favor of more toxic (but more profitable) solutions. And to add the suspenders to the belt, they've ensured that a lot of yelping guard dogs defend what they are doing no matter what it does to the long-term success of the species.

Historically, we just lurch along, and I doubt things will be any different here.

Re:Peak oil (2)

swb (14022) | about 7 months ago | (#46275433)

But isn't the history of oil consumption a de facto demonstration of pricing? As demand increases, prices increase and production technology improves? The 1970s brought off-shore and deep water oil production, followed by increasingly more fuel efficient cars (as one example).

Contemporary pricing has given us hybrid and viable electric cars. Fracking and tar sands have extended oil production. Even trucking has gotten aerodynamic.

Re:Peak oil (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#46275535)

But isn't the history of oil consumption a de facto demonstration of pricing? As demand increases, prices increase and production technology improves? The 1970s brought off-shore and deep water oil production, followed by increasingly more fuel efficient cars (as one example).

Contemporary pricing has given us hybrid and viable electric cars. Fracking and tar sands have extended oil production. Even trucking has gotten aerodynamic.

It also brought us the Energy Crisis.

I'm not saying that adjustments don't occur. Just that market trends carry an immense amount of momentum. Boom-and-bust are by no means unique to the energy industry. Recent events in the housing industry are another example. But it's not like people didn't see things coming. Remember "irrational exuberance"? Just that too often we swing from one extreme to the other. People get hurt that way.

Re:ICF, no, just a virus (2)

tchdab1 (164848) | about 7 months ago | (#46273791)

How long before a software virus cripples a good amount of cars and brings "transportation to a halt"?

Re:ICF, no, just a virus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46275515)

People call in sickie in mass because their in-car entertainment systems only show a picture of the Guy Fawkes mask. There is no person who dares challenging the rush hour without their in-car entertainment system working.

Re:ICF, no, just a virus (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 7 months ago | (#46276321)

2018 is the all ing car mandate iirc.

Re:ICF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273955)

That's nothing. Just wait until the ICF hits (internal combustion flu). Tesla will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Bah, I'm cooking up a Millionaire flu that is scheduled for release in 2015 which will vindicate Ayn Rand once and for all... Bwahahahahahah!

Re:ICF (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46274081)

Wipe out all the millionaires and watch society crumble without their corrupting influence and flagrant self-interest to prop it up? I'm unconvinced of the outcome, but I'm not seeing a down side... :-P

Re:ICF (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#46274745)

Wipe out all the millionaires and watch society crumble without their corrupting influence and flagrant self-interest to prop it up? I'm unconvinced of the outcome, but I'm not seeing a down side... :-P

Two words.

Animal Farm.

Re:ICF (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46276973)

As I remember it the story was one of the Grand Revolution falling to corruption until it looked just like the original situation. Certainly not a cheerful outcome, but at least they tried. And for a while they got a taste of freedom and equality. Better than nothing, and perhaps it will inspire the next generation to learn from their mistakes and try *better*.

Re:ICF (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#46278357)

As I remember it the story was one of the Grand Revolution falling to corruption until it looked just like the original situation. Certainly not a cheerful outcome, but at least they tried. And for a while they got a taste of freedom and equality. Better than nothing, and perhaps it will inspire the next generation to learn from their mistakes and try *better*.

We can hope. But Animal Farm, like its more famous peer was the product of someone who believed in the Socialist Ideal and was greatly disappointed in what it became in reality.

Orwell didn't offer solutions, unfortunately. He left it at "He loved Big Brother" and pigs that had become indistinguishable from humans.

Re:ICF (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | about 7 months ago | (#46275187)

...or a computer flu that cripples 5% of the worlds servers. That would have quite an impact too.

ECV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46276205)

No, it'll be the electronic car virus. Of course, you will be directed to purchase Norton Antivirus for Cars.

Re:ICF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46277273)

hold it wait:

like Benz, Rivaz, Verbiest, and Bugatti were laughing back then during the horse era (were they the 1st car manufacturers making money over fist in the mid-late 1800's)? It took them another 25-35yrs (1905) to be laughing to the bank...

what is this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273059)

why is /. redirecting me to this terrible "beta" interface? is there some way to go back to normal?

still don't get it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273071)

even removing 'beta' from the url is still redirecting me back to 'beta'. i don't understand.

Re:still don't get it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273111)

weird, now it's letting me see the normal interface again. what's the motivation for this beta nonsense, it's really killing my experience on one of my favorite sites.

Re:still don't get it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273161)

Go fuck a horse.

Re:still don't get it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273213)

My bookmark has said http://slashdot.org/?nobeta=1 [slashdot.org] since before the Slashcott.

Re:what is this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273209)

Scroll down right to the very bottom of this page, and click "Slashdot Classic".

Sure, blame the flu (3, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | about 7 months ago | (#46273091)

But I bet a little war during the previous decade had a bit more to do with the economic issues of the time.

Re:Sure, blame the flu (1)

hey! (33014) | about 7 months ago | (#46273639)

I'd take that bet.

If you were talking about slow economic growth immediately after the war, I'd agree that the war would be a plausible contributing factor. But I don't see how a war that ends in 1865 causes a *crash* in 1873.

Re:Sure, blame the flu (5, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46273681)

The picture was pretty complex as it turns out - there was a lot going on. But I wouldn't be surprised that the flu outbreak could have had a major impact. The economy was horse driven at the time. Imagine if cars could catch the flu and you couldn't drive them, or they even "died." That could be very disruptive to many sectors of the economy.

The Long Depression (1873-1878) [socialwelfarehistory.com]

The period following the Civil War in the United States from 1865-1873 is generally considered one of economic prosperity. Northern owners of industry and bankers had become wealthy in the war, while cotton exports in the south within the U.S. and abroad met the growing demands of foreign manufacturing for raw materials. In addition to a developing of manufacturing at home and abroad, technological innovations led to improvements in mining, agriculture, and infrastructure.

The Economic Costs of the Civil War [fee.org]

The first and most important point is that the Civil War was expensive. In 1860 the U.S. national debt was $65 million. To put that in perspective, the national debt in 1789, the year George Washington took office, was $77 million. In other words, from 1789 to 1860, the United States spanned the continent, fought two major wars, and began its industrial growth—all the while reducing its national debt.

We had limited government, few federal expenses, and low taxes. In 1860, on the eve of war, almost all federal revenue derived from the tariff. We had no income tax, no estate tax, and no excise taxes. Even the hated whiskey tax was gone. We had seemingly fulfilled Thomas Jefferson’s vision: “What farmer, what mechanic, what laborer ever sees a tax-gatherer of the United States?”

Four years of civil war changed all that forever. In 1865 the national debt stood at $2.7 billion. Just the annual interest on that debt was more than twice our entire national budget in 1860. In fact, that Civil War debt is almost twice what the federal government spent before 1860.

What’s worse, Jefferson’s vision had become a nightmare. The United States had a progressive income tax, an estate tax, and excise taxes as well. The revenue department had greatly expanded, and tax-gatherers were a big part of the federal bureaucracy.

Furthermore, our currency was tainted. The Union government had issued more than $430 million in paper money (greenbacks) and demanded it be legal tender for all debts. No gold backed the notes.

Re:Sure, blame the flu (3, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about 7 months ago | (#46273699)

But I bet a little war during the previous decade had a bit more to do with the economic issues of the time.

Not as much as you might think.

The country was 50% urban by census definition in 1860. Northern industry, agriculture and transportation prospered mightily during and after the war. The South no longer had a veto over economic development.

Cotton production in the South recovered rapidly. COTTON PRODUCTION FACTS STATISTICS OF THE YIELD FOR TWENTY YEARS.; STATISTICS OF THE YIELD FOR TWENTY YEARS. [nytimes.com] 1850-1880

Re:Sure, blame the flu (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#46273733)

The epidemic happened in 1872. Milton Friedman's book [amazon.com] puts that right in the middle of a period of economic growth that would last a few years longer. So basically, you're right.

I'm not sure why the summary thinks "the US economy was brought to its knees." Nowhere in the article does it say what data they are using. So I'm not sure it had such a huge impact. People still found ways to carry their goods to market, still found ways to fight Indians.

one thing never changes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273099)

Americans are idiots.

Americans allowed 9/11 to bring the economy to its knees after Gorge Pussy said yeah folks let's spend a shitton of money on some totally necessary wars against dem evil Mooslims. Was Gorge Pussy impeached for crimes against the nation? Nope! Will Barak Osama be impeached for continuing the totally necessary wars against dem evil Mooslims? Nope!

Americans are idiots.

only a fool fights in a burning house (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273127)

The horses are sick, Boston's on fire, we'll fight those Apaches anyway!

Re:only a fool fights in a burning house (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273899)

What do you think the Apaches were riding?

Re:only a fool fights in a burning house (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#46274815)

What do you think the Apaches were riding?

Horses were relatively new technology for the natives back then. They'd just have to revert to pre-European behavior.

Besides, if there's any truth to the stereotype, Apaches excelled at stealth, which is a lot harder to achieve if there's a great big noisy horse sticking out of the landscape.

Re:only a fool fights in a burning house (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 7 months ago | (#46278603)

>What do you think the Apaches were riding?

Apaches usually run on Linuxes, but they are being killed off by the nginxes.

dang (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273199)

Is it just me or has Slashdot lost a shitload of commenting users?

Thanks Dice, you guys have done an awesome job! I really mean that, fucking super..

Re:dang (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273245)

Why don't you fuck off? Slashdot doesn't need any comments from the audience.

Re:dang (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273455)

You fuck off, you fuck.

What cowboy movies mention this? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273203)

It's not true if it doesn't exist in any cowboy movies.

Re:What cowboy movies mention this? (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46273285)

It's not true if it doesn't exist in any cowboy movies.

That's a fair point. I don't recall ever hearing of any cowboy movies featuring plagues or epidemics as part of the movie even if individuals became sick. Of course there were a number of them in history, such a small pox, etc. The flu epidemic is one I don't recall hearing about before though. It should make for some interesting follow up reading.

Re:What cowboy movies mention this? (3, Informative)

hey! (33014) | about 7 months ago | (#46273371)

You don't see any war movies which feature epidemics, either, even though infectious disease has killed more soldiers in war than battle wounds.

Re:What cowboy movies mention this? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273401)

There's "The Way West" starring Kirk Douglas where smallpox is a plot point and much more recently there's the miniseries "Broken Trail" starring Robert Duvall where in one scene he kills a man whose line of work is selling smallpox-exposed blankets to indians. IIRC smallpox is in "Little Big Man" as well.

Re:What cowboy movies mention this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273473)

Well, there was an epidemic in an episode of Firefly once, does that count?

Re:What cowboy movies mention this? (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 7 months ago | (#46274373)

That's a fair point. I don't recall ever hearing of any cowboy movies featuring plagues or epidemics as part of the movie even if individuals became sick.

I"m pretty sure that Westerns like Big Valley featured epidemics at some point.

Re:What cowboy movies mention this? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 7 months ago | (#46276409)

Both deadwood, and the far cheesier Hell on Wheels featured small pox.

I'd go as far to say that small pox in western themed serials is cliche, you know it's going to be the running story as soon as someone coughs.

Not as much in movies, I assume because unless it's the main point of a movie there's not much space for it.

Re:What cowboy movies mention this? (1)

milage (881680) | about 7 months ago | (#46278001)

Hud [wikipedia.org] featured foot-and-mouth disease

Why does the site look so terrible all of a sudden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273215)

Ugh, the new site is just awful, I come to read comments, not stupid summaries. I can get that on any other site. Please revert the site back!

Re:Why does the site look so terrible all of a sud (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 7 months ago | (#46273479)

I thought you were talking about the content for a minute.

I mean, seriously, who venerates the genocide of one's native peoples 144 years after the fact? Shame, Slashdot...

Re:Why does the site look so terrible all of a sud (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46274601)

I mean, seriously, who venerates the genocide of one's native peoples 144 years after the fact? Shame, Slashdot...

I'm not in favor of genocide against any group — what does "native" have to do with it? Technically, we're all out of Africa, right? If you diddle the timeline, no one else is a native.

That outbreak had a name (4, Informative)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 7 months ago | (#46273239)

Folks at the time called it the Great Epizootic* of 1872: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org] . In cities where it hit hardest, men were reportedly pulling carts in the streets because of the shortage of horses.

*pronouced ep-eh-zoo-AH-tick

Re:That outbreak had a name (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273279)

The economy recovered six years after the Panic of 1873. It's already been twelve years since 9/11. What the fuck is wrong with you, 21st century America?

Re:That outbreak had a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273589)

9/11 wasn't the breakpoint of the economy, that was 2007 or so.

Re:That outbreak had a name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273701)

Uh-huh. Uh-huh. And I believe you, don't I, because you were alive in 2001? I was there. I remember the budget cuts. "Whoops some planes hit some buildings so we'll need some temporary budget cuts to support the troops." 2002 "Yeah, 'nother round of budget cuts, totally temporary, the troops, you understand." 2003 "Whoa! 'Nother war! Gotta get that baastard bad guy. Budget cuts." 2004 "Yeah we're gonna go ahead and make those temporary budget cuts permanent, then we'll have some more temporary budget cuts on the way too! Support those troops!!" .....ten years later...... "Well obviously you didn't need a budget everything's going just fine with nothing right? But you treasure your freedom, right, the troops are worth it, right, let's do less with more, most with least, and everything with nothing! Thank a veteran for existing! God knows what they did but whatever it was it's all worth the massive drain on the economy!!!!!!!"

What Budget Cuts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46274699)

Spending under the very non-conservative GWB exploded. Spend money for TSA, spend money for Department of Homeland Security. Start new entitlement program to win Grandma and Grampa's vote by buying their prescription meds. Start unnecessary wars followed by "Nation Building." No need to Veto any bill. That wouldn't be very "compassionate."

Re:That outbreak had a name (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 7 months ago | (#46274317)

9/11 wasn't the breakpoint of the economy

But a large contributing factor: ...the outbreak of a great fire in the heart of the city of Boston on November 9th was a disaster. Firemen were reduced to moving all of the necessary firefighting equipment by hand, and the size of the fire in this particular incident did not allow for such slow movement to be effective. The firefighting sans horse power was so ineffective that the fire raged on to become one of the worst disasters in the history of the city. Reports indicate that the blaze killed 13 people, destroyed 776 buildings, and caused $75 million in damages – the current equivalent of roughly $3.5 billion.

Re:That outbreak had a name (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46273291)

Thanks for the link. Very interesting.

Flu came from horses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273261)

I've heard of Avian bird flu, the Swine Pig Flu, the Hantavirus Mouse flu and now finally the Equus Bronco Bronchial Tube Flu.

Re:Flu came from horses? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46273895)

That's right - horses flu back then. I'm sure you've heard of horsefeathers.

Re:Flu came from horses? (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 7 months ago | (#46274425)

I've heard of Avian bird flu, the Swine Pig Flu, the Hantavirus Mouse flu and now finally the Equus Bronco Bronchial Tube Flu.

While I see this study with some reservations FTA:
According to Worobey, the newly generated evolutionary trees show a global replacement of the genes in the avian flu virus coinciding closely with the horse flu outbreak, which the analyses also reveal to be the closest relative to the avian virus.

So your call, is the relative a parent or child. The evolutionary trees mentioned show nothing that can be called useful.

Still think it's a good idea.... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#46273267)

...for cars to have a kill chip?

The Hand Of God Strikes To Kill Humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273269)

God was very ANGRY with humans in the 1800s.

God thought to himself: Man is vile and vengeful, how can I kill Man? Ah Ha! The Answer came down to God! And God was grateful!

So be history.

What I found interesting: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273345)

"Half of Boston burned down during the outbreak, because there were no horses to pull fire engines, hose reels, and ladder carts. In the West, the U.S. Cavalry was fighting the Apaches on foot because their horses were sick."

EGW (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 7 months ago | (#46273355)

Centuries of horse shit spewing methane into the atmosphere brought about Equine Global Warming, leading to the flu epidemic.

If only we had Al Gore back then...

Re:EGW (3, Informative)

u38cg (607297) | about 7 months ago | (#46274099)

Actually, horses have a single stomach and produce minimal, if any, methane.

Re:EGW (1)

2sheds (78194) | about 7 months ago | (#46275331)

Horses may be monogastric but they have caeca, i.e. a highly developed hind-gut fermentation system. Although they don't need to and indeed cannot eructate (the main source of methane emissions in cattle), they still contribute their fair share. And don't forget decomposition products from manure. The best thing you can say about any form of agricultural methane emission is that the animals involved are on a relatively short carbon cycle - they release carbon that has only recently been fixed from the atmosphere; it's the logistics and infrastructure that goes with supporting, say, intensively produced feedlot cattle (gas for tractors and shipping, intensive feed production etc.) that is damaging.

Re:EGW (1)

u38cg (607297) | about 7 months ago | (#46275583)

Had to go and look it up. More than I thought - about a third of a cow. But on the other hand, there are at least an order of magnitude more cows out there.

Bull (1)

Yahooti (3401115) | about 7 months ago | (#46273425)

If it's behind a paywall, it didn't happen.

./ sinks to a new low (0)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 7 months ago | (#46273475)

News for Nerds?

In the 1800's horses died.

Computers? Internet? Technology? bad laws regarding tech?

Anyone? Some help here?

Re:./ sinks to a new low (5, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | about 7 months ago | (#46273541)

That's the thing; nerds are interested in darn near everything.

The ability for a non-human disease to cause such a negative impact is interesting. The impact of loss of transportation on the economy, even an ancient one, is also interesting.

Re:./ sinks to a new low (2)

westlake (615356) | about 7 months ago | (#46274543)

The ability for a non-human disease to cause such a negative impact is interesting.

The horse was a big city crisis.

A 1000-pound horse will defecate from 4 to 13 times per day. On the average, this horse's manure will contain about 31 pounds of feces and 2.4 gallons (~ 20 pounds) of urine, totaling up to 50 pounds of manure (not including bedding) per day as excreted.

Stall Waste Production [rutgers.edu]

New York City had 100,000 horses on the streets in 1900. The stench of the manure could be over-powering and flies spread diseases. Dead horses were simply shoved to the sides of streets in summer, as you can see in uncensored photographs of the era. It was simply impossible to clear the carcasses quickly enough.

Re:./ sinks to a new low (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 7 months ago | (#46274741)

Yes, the pollution from horses, the support structure for horses, is a big part of what drove any option to not need a horse. Electric cable cars, for example. Cars vastly simplified the logistics(because you also needed to ship in ~50 pounds of fodder for said horses every day) as well.

Re:./ sinks to a new low (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 7 months ago | (#46273755)

That was how technology was then. I find it interesting as well as other things about the age, like the problems caused by all the horse shit.

Re:./ sinks to a new low (2)

u38cg (607297) | about 7 months ago | (#46274117)

Well, at least they still get the slash and the dot in the right order.

Poor US Calvalry (4, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 7 months ago | (#46273497)

Committing genocide on foot is tiring work.

Re:Poor US Calvalry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46273713)

What's taking them so long? There are so many Apache servers still running.

Re:Poor US Calvalry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46274471)

It's okay, they can use steam Nginx now!

Re:Poor US Calvalry (1)

S.I.O. (180787) | about 7 months ago | (#46274653)

Thankfully, they were unpatched Apache, so it was easy to find their weak spot.

Re:Poor US Calvalry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46275315)

PHP admin console?

Re:Poor US Calvalry (1)

freezin fat guy (713417) | about 7 months ago | (#46277345)

Thankfully, they were unpatched Apache, so it was easy to find their weak spot.

Yes, IIS may have won the west, but thanks in part to its susceptibility to virus, the Apache came back to dominate the world.

Re:Poor US Calvalry (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 7 months ago | (#46276301)

We should Sioux them.

Uh oh (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 7 months ago | (#46274365)

The Silicon Spotted Fever Epidemic of 2017 is gonna be a bear ...

Horse Knees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46275135)

Enough said

Tough times (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | about 7 months ago | (#46275151)

Ah, remember it like it were yesterday. The ride through at the McDonald's was deserted for years.

And then the trains got sick (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 7 months ago | (#46275357)

and that really impacted the economy.

Car Virus (1)

alta (1263) | about 7 months ago | (#46276369)

Some of you guys are joking about a car virus, but it's not a stretch of the imagination at all.

15 years ago that couldn't happen, but now cars have built in cellular data. Some have built in hotspots. Not just high end cars but cheap cars can get on facebook now either through dedicated cellular data or tethering off your phone. We saw just a few weeks ago that they're trying to make cars that talk to each other for 'safety' reasons. Once they can do that a car to car virus is even easier.

What's wrong? Flu Shot Takers Waning?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46278269)

Having problems getting people to take the flu shot now?

Take your infected crap to some other planet.

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