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74 comments

Finally... (4, Funny)

brilinux (255400) | about 10 years ago | (#9623995)


Something to go with my stuffed microbes [thinkgeek.com] !

Re:Finally... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9624022)

That is about the lamest First Post that I have ever seen.

I'll wait (1)

loid_void (740416) | about 10 years ago | (#9628918)

I'm gonna wait for the wallet size edition.

Every once in a while (1)

heldlikesound (132717) | about 10 years ago | (#9624017)

one of the Slashdot authors writes a truly hillarious story title, this one is one of them....

Re:Every once in a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9624136)

pffft, not really. This was posted on Fark [fark.com] with a similar headline yesterday.

Re:Every once in a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9627507)

A lot of people don't read Fark anymore though. Fark's advertisements got to be nothing but anti-Bush T-shirts and the like, and instead of feeding money to that, people stopped reading Fark.

Re:Every once in a while (1)

steelerguy (172075) | about 10 years ago | (#9634926)

ya, it was posted on fark...but headline is not even similar.

It's even factually correct. (4, Informative)

devphil (51341) | about 10 years ago | (#9624689)


More or less. The Black Death wiped out one-third to one-half of [any given European / West Asian / Middle Eastern geographical area], with the exceptions of Poland and Scotland, which didn't get touched.

Something to tell the next kid you find singing "ring around the rosey," a nursery rhyme about the Plague. :-)

Re:It's even factually correct. (-1)

theCat (36907) | about 10 years ago | (#9626928)

Very true:

"Ring around the rosie..."

Actually, probably originally "ring around all rosie" which is a reference to the first signs of an infection; red rings around the flea bites.

"Pocket full of posies..."

Posies being thought a ward against the Devil. And who could blame them? It looked like the end of all Creation.

"Ashes...ashes..."

At least, most kids say "ashes" because those fall down. But actually it is supposed to be "achoos", the sound of sneezing. Along with the rings, severe sneezing was an early symptom of plague. And we still say "bless you" to someone who sneezes, not realizing that we are saying "oh bless you but you have the plague! you are dead. may god have mercy on your soul!" Cheerful thought.

"We all fall down!" ...which they certainly did. Bodies piled up in the streets some places, and people were buried just where they fell.

Re:It's even factually correct. (4, Informative)

cephyn (461066) | about 10 years ago | (#9626969)

actually not true at all.

check it out [snopes.com]

Re:It's even factually correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9633155)

Actually, that's a bogus snopes page, it doesn't have that stupid quoted "joke-in-the-byline" tag -- a dead giveaway that the page can't be trusted.

Most of their "proofs" are a stretch, anyway, so it hardly matters. I love how a newspaper article is always TRUE if it supports their argument :-) Even better is their "seems unlikely" method of discounting something, such as when they declare an image to be unretouched -- by EXAMINING IT. Priceless!

Re:It's even factually correct. (1)

JAD lifter (778578) | about 10 years ago | (#9636100)

"Ashes...ashes..." [supposed to be "achoos", the sound of sneezing]
I always thought that it was supposed to be ashes because they burned the bodies of plague victims?

Re:It's even factually correct. (3, Informative)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 10 years ago | (#9627280)

Something to tell the next kid you find singing "ring around the rosey," a nursery rhyme about the Plague. :-)


Snopes. Snopes. Snopes, snopes, snopes, snopes, snopes.

Who do you check before posting a dubious "fact?"

SNOPES! [snopes.com]

Re:It's even factually correct. (1)

devphil (51341) | about 10 years ago | (#9628900)


Usually I check Snopes and the Straight Dope [straightdope.com] archives. Last I checked, that snopes page wasn't there. (That "last updated November 2000" bit at the bottom is a pipe dream.)

Anyhow, nice catch and thanks for the pointer. Boy, my junior-high teacher is gonna be pissed when she finds out. :-)

That snopes article sucks. (2, Interesting)

CoolGuySteve (264277) | about 10 years ago | (#9640299)

Usually Snopes articles are really good but that one's pretty weak.

Up until the end where a folklorist is quoted, it's extremely speculative, basing almost all its evidence on the fact that the rhyme didn't appear in print until the 1880s. Arguing over the year claimed by an urban legend (or at least the version that they chose to knock down) is pretty pedantic and poorly thought out in this case.

For example, it's much easier to make light of a plague that happened 2 centuries earlier, just as many of the posters here have done. It's also quite possible that nobody had written the rhyme down before 1881 despite its existance, contrary to snopes' arbitrary claims.

The Grimm brothers didn't publish their collection until the early 1800s even though many of the tales had existed long before that. The Hunt translation (the most popular english translation around that era) didn't come until the mid to late 19th century. It seems folk tales and nursery rhymes were in vogue at the time.

The red herring is that snopes exagerates the time span by referring to the 14th century plague rather than the more recent 17th century one. It would take a lot of drama out of their argument if they couldn't write about "five centuries" and "six centuries".

They also dismiss the issue based on a lot of superficial differences. For example:

The word "ashes" cannot be "a corruption of the sneezing sounds made by the infected person" and a word used for its literal meaning. Either "ashes" was a corruption of an earlier form or a deliberate use; it can't be both.


Fuck off. Why not? The verse "Catch a tiger by the toe" has a disturbingly more racist variation. The use of the word "tiger" is both a linguistic corruption of an earlier form and a deliberate use.

Moreover, the "ashes" ending of "Ring Around the Rosie" appears to be a fairly modern addition to the rhyme; earlier versions repeat other words or syllables instead (e.g., "Hush!", "A-tischa!", "Hasher", "Husher", "Hatch-u", "A-tishoo") or, as noted above, have completely different endings.


Wow, a few of those sound a lot like sneezing to me. Snopes is also ignoring the regional differences that this probably comes from. I drink pop and use kleenex while others drink soda and use tissues. Before TV and radio, these differences were more prevalent and evolved over time. And for the love of Pete, it's not like we ever obscure morbid concepts in language. That practice passed away a while back.

As for the folklorist, he explains the ring game and how the rhyme fits. That's not enough to claim the rhyme has no other meaning, he just describes its purpose.

The article doesn't present any concrete evidence to show why the plague interpretation is not a valid one, just that the verses are more recent than the 1300s. Considering the line "The nursery rhyme 'Ring Around the Rosie' is a coded reference to the Black Plague." is marked with a big red "False", they sure do a shitty job of addressing the issue.

IMO, treating this snopes article as a solid fact is worse than doing so with the original presumption. It's annoying that they can get away with making such loose arguments just because they wear the magic skeptic hat.

Re:It's even factually correct. (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | about 10 years ago | (#9627381)

Something to tell the next kid you find singing "ring around the rosey," a nursery rhyme about the Plague. :-)

"...and then the rats came for them. Thousands and thousands of filthy, filthy rats! And these weren't the cuddly kind of rats you get in today's sewers!" ;-)

Re:Every once in a while (1)

MarkusH (198450) | about 10 years ago | (#9626232)

Plagarized without attribution from SJ Games. [sjgames.com]

I mean, come on. At least change around the text a little bit.

Re:Every once in a while (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 10 years ago | (#9628412)

SJ Games is not the author... they merely publish submissions from people who send it in.

In this case, the author of the paragraph is a certain Michael P. Owen.

I can hear it now... (4, Funny)

hookedup (630460) | about 10 years ago | (#9624031)

MOM! Tommy got Ebola again! Tell him to share!

Anyone remember asking for the Plague? (3, Funny)

Ieshan (409693) | about 10 years ago | (#9624245)

Perhaps off topic, but does anyone else remember going to the bookstore during the Camus section of senior-year english class and asking for The Plague?

Re:Anyone remember asking for the Plague? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9626839)

No, bot I remember that the books we hat to read were more along the line of "Jurassic Park" and "Joy Luck Club".

I guess that's what happens when you attend public school. And people wonder why there's a difference between graduates of private highschools versus public... While my friends were studying atigony, I was studying Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park. Idiotic lazy fucking teachers.

Re:Anyone remember asking for the Plague? (2, Funny)

Txiasaeia (581598) | about 10 years ago | (#9627173)

Heh, I got you one better. One sociology class of mine had a required text on call at the library called "Sex in the Snow" (actual book, check it out on Amazon). We were forbidden by the prof to ask the librarians, "Do you have Sex in the Snow" or "Can I have Sex in the Snow" or "Can I check out Sex in the Snow" or any such variation. Turned out there was no bloody way of asking for the book without just writing down the call number.

Re:Anyone remember asking for the Plague? (2, Insightful)

LSD-25 (676562) | about 10 years ago | (#9629479)

Why couldn't you say, "I'm looking for a book called 'Sex in the Snow.'"

Re:Anyone remember asking for the Plague? (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 10 years ago | (#9633354)

Coz they were thinking using other parts of their bodies, perhaps being influenced by physical aspects of certain librarians?

Or they were just being subconsciously honest...

The Prof was smart tho. Wonder if the prof failed people who couldn't figure out a way to request for the book reasonably unambiguously.

Re:Anyone remember asking for the Plague? (1)

Mignon (34109) | about 10 years ago | (#9632130)

We were forbidden by the prof to ask the librarians, "Do you have Sex in the Snow"

There's plenty of "naughty" drink names, too (sex on the beach, blow job, etc.,) but I am always slightly amused by innocently asking pretty bartenders if they have Black Bush [bushmills.com] .

I know what else I'm thinking, but do they know what else I'm thinking? And if so, do they know that I know that they know what else I'm thinking?

Whatever. By the third shot, I'm not thinking about much.

Re:Anyone remember asking for the Plague? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 10 years ago | (#9635608)

Nope Cuz we read The Stranger :-P

A new meaning of... (5, Funny)

Leffe (686621) | about 10 years ago | (#9624043)

... gotta catch 'em all ;)

Well... (4, Funny)

daeley (126313) | about 10 years ago | (#9624092)

I don't know about you, but I am *so* not eating the bubblegum that comes with these!

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9624106)

sounds like someone didnt do their fact checking. The Black Plague did not bat .500 as a rookie, but only a mere .254 [yahoo.com] . 'Course, it took until the pre-season of 2001 for the guy to earn the name The Black Plague.

Re:huh? (2, Informative)

HyperbolicParabaloid (220184) | about 10 years ago | (#9624624)

And did you know that it is not know for certain that "The Black Death" even was bubonic plague? Scientisits and historians now assume that the epidemic that swept through Europe was that disease, but since European medicine at the time was, shall we say, non-scientific, it is impossible to know with certainty what the diease really was. I believe (no, I can't cite any sources) that there are problems in the hisotical record with the bubonic plague theory, and even some other contenders for the actual cause of the epidemic.

Yersinia pestis is a contender. (2, Informative)

John M Ford (653329) | about 10 years ago | (#9624792)

Oh, the things that are not known for certain... :)

While there is some new-ish research [newscientist.com] that might indicate otherwise, my understanding is that the research and its findings are not being very well received.

Still very interesting.

-John

Re:Yersinia pestis is a contender. (5, Informative)

cephyn (461066) | about 10 years ago | (#9625511)

not all deaths attributed to the Black Death were from yersinia pestis, no argument there. With people dying in droves, almost any death at that time was attributed to The Black Death.

As for a hemorragic fever being responsible, it is of course possible but highly unlikely. It would have to be an extremely exotic fever as no known hemo fever can survive through the cold european winter.

Europe also was coming out of a time of extreme famine just prior to the onset of the Black Death, so its likely that many individuals were chronically malnourished with weakened immune systems. So, it wouldn't take anything more exotic than a foreign plague bacillus to really wreak havoc.

Re:Yersinia pestis is a contender. (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 10 years ago | (#9628466)

Also consider that the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 happened at a point in time when 19 countries were at war. IIRC, over 21 million ppl died worldwide, just from that flu.

Could the social factors caused by WW1 have facilitated the virus' transmission? Probably.

I figure it's not a big stretch of imagination to equate strife with epidemics.

Arent the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Famine, Pestilence and Death?

PBS Secrets of the Dead (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | about 10 years ago | (#9629066)

PBS did a Secrets of the Dead on the 1918 flu, and they tied it directly to WWI. In war, it is not only that you have people shooting at each other; you also take a lot of people and place them (cram them into) camps and place them under stresses to challenge their immune systems.

The hypothesis is that a British camp in France had a lot of soldiers in close proximity to a lot of pigs (needed to feed that many soldiers), allowing a swine flu virus to cross over to the soldiers, and then you had the soldiers living in cramped barracks allowing everyone to share whatever upper respiratory conditions they had. This took place a couple of "flu seasons" before 1918, but there is historical evidence of the 1918-type pneumonia symptoms in that camp predating 1918, and it takes a couple of flu seasons to set the stage for the big epidemic.

Re:Yersinia pestis is a contender. (1)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | about 10 years ago | (#9632723)

Pestilance retired after WWII, muttering something about "penicillin". He has since been replaced by Pollution. Famine's latest endeavor is diet fads. You can starve to death at a table full of low-carb, sugar-free, no-calorie goodness.

Re:Yersinia pestis is a contender. (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 10 years ago | (#9634940)

Haven't you heard?

Pestilence is planning to come out of retirement with antibiotics-resistant bacteria and new-and-improved bovine-porcine-avian flu viruses!

Re:huh? (2, Insightful)

zaroastra (676615) | about 10 years ago | (#9626448)

fast google search will render you:
this [guardian.co.uk] , and this [theanswerbank.co.uk]

The true nature of the "Black Death" was long a mystery, but early in the 20th Century, after doctors had found and described bubonic plague in India, experts jumped to the conclusion that a more virulent form of that disease, endemic in rats and transmitted to humans by their fleas, was the real culprit.
This was a comforting conclusion, because it meant it was a bacterial disease with a complicated life cycle, easily contained by hygiene and antibiotics. But it never actually made sense, because the standard treatment for the Black Death, tried and tested over three hundred years, was to quarantine affected families and villages for forty days. That could not have worked if it were carried by rats, which do not respect quarantines. So two years ago Professors Christopher Duncan and Susan Scott of Liverpool University suggested in their book, Biology of Plagues, that the Black Death was really an Ebola like virus, a haemorrhagic fever transmitted directly from person to person.

Re:huh? (1)

HyperbolicParabaloid (220184) | about 10 years ago | (#9630725)

at the end of my original post I almost added that, as you figured out, I hadn't even taken the time for a quick google. Thanks for taking the time (all 2 seconds:) to back me up!

Criminal collectable cards (3, Insightful)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | about 10 years ago | (#9624130)

Here I thought that those "Most Awful Criminals" cards were in bad taste.

Reading the back of the Anthrax card, it's just propaganda for kids to show mommy and daddy so they won't defund the CDC.

Bob-

Re:Criminal collectable cards (3, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | about 10 years ago | (#9624855)

How is stating that anthrax has been used in bioterrorism propaganda. It really did happen you know.

Re:Criminal collectable cards (1)

Bob_Robertson (454888) | about 10 years ago | (#9626206)

Because it is self promotional. It doesn't stop at saying that anthrax has been used as a weapon, it brings up the boogyman of "terrorism" and goes on to state that the CDC is fighting bioterrorism.

If they were certain of their position, they wouldn't be self-agrandizing.

Bob-

Doesn't this already go on? (2, Funny)

RegalBegal (742288) | about 10 years ago | (#9624159)

except it's with STDs.

girl, you WISH i'd trade The Ninja for your Warts, get that thing away from me!!

we could even incorporate it into a card game.

I'll trade my level 34 Master Ninja for your 55 +strength Herpulox.

get me some buttah baby i'm onna ROLL!!!

Trades here (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9624160)

I'm willing to offer Ebola for some Herpes if you've got it.. ?

Let me know. Thanks.

Kids these days... (3, Insightful)

I_Love_Pocky! (751171) | about 10 years ago | (#9624162)

Get all of the cool toys. Why didn't they have this when I was growing up?

Did anyone else think the text looks "sick"? (1)

erykjj (213892) | about 10 years ago | (#9624289)

The text description on these cards could be a bit neater - considering it's a PDF.

Pet Peeve (3, Informative)

cephyn (461066) | about 10 years ago | (#9624311)

No such thing as the "black plague" --

There is the Black Death, referring to a specific pandemic of Bubonic Plague in Europe in 1347-1350.

My own Pet Peeve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9624555)

It's not at all certain that the black death was caused by the bubonic plague.

Re:My own Pet Peeve (2, Funny)

jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) | about 10 years ago | (#9624676)

It's not at all certain that the black death was caused by the bubonic plague.

There you go again, debasing our heros. Our children need diseases to aspire to.

Re:My own Pet Peeve (1)

cephyn (461066) | about 10 years ago | (#9624883)

not exactly. it IS certain that it was bubonic, pneumonic, and setecemic plague. However, what is not certain is that EVERY death was caused by plague. Many people who died of other infections or reasons were categorized under the Black Death, but they did not actually die of plague. The overwhelming majority were caused by bubonic plague.

Re:Pet Peeve (2, Informative)

zaroastra (676615) | about 10 years ago | (#9626324)

Actually, the mistake is classifying the black plague as bubonic plague. (a very common misconception because of what they have taught us in schools)
I saw a program where they explained why the black plague of late middle ages couldn't have been the bubonic plague.
The black plague simptoms and "modus operandi" was far more related to the haemorrhagic plague than bubonic plague.
A fast google search rendered these items:
Black Death blamed on man, not rats [guardian.co.uk]
Bubonic plague didn't cause the Black Death [theanswerbank.co.uk]
But im sure that if you look further, you will find more info.

Re:Pet Peeve (2, Insightful)

cephyn (461066) | about 10 years ago | (#9626414)

that second link tries to say it wasnt plague, but pretty much ends up saying it was -- they say the symptoms COULD be from plague but MIGHT not have been. And its been well documented that plague can EASILY spread from human to human, especially in pneumonic form. And plague infection could display symptoms very similar to hemo fever in septecemic form. bubonic plague is one type of infection from yersinia pestis. Pneumonic is a different one (lungs) and septecemic is the third (blood) -- septecemic has been documented as being the nastiest, killing 90% in 24-36 hours, causes bleeding like a hemo fever, and is passed through body fluids (like vomiting blood).

So the articles are saying that the spread was too fast for plague, but there are types of plague infections which could do it. They say not enough rats died, but there are plenty of documented events of mass rat death during the Black Death. They wonder why it spread most on roads, well, rats often hid in wagons filled with hay or food, or crawled in leaving fleas behind, etc etc etc. And it may have spread animal to animal in the outlying areas, but animals don't often write things down. People do, and they concentrate on roads and towns.

Those articles, IMO, are sketchy AT BEST.

Re:Pet Peeve (1)

zaroastra (676615) | about 10 years ago | (#9626528)

even i didnt like that much the second link, mostly because it told something about an american university, and i knew it wasn't an american discovery...
so i looked further, and here you go:
google [google.com] all you want

Most convincing argument: the only sucessfull thing against the black plague was quarentine (has proven in the pope's (living in frace at the time) and venezian records.
Rats dont respect quarentines do they?

Or just read the book:
The Return of the Black Death [forbesbookclub.com]

Re:Pet Peeve (1)

cephyn (461066) | about 10 years ago | (#9626657)

no black plague, black death.

rats don't respect quarantines, but depending on how a quarantine is carried out, it might also keep the rats out too. If that's the most convincing argument though, that's pretty sad. I'm not even sure what that "most convincing" item means...if it wasn't plague, quarantine works, but if it was plague, quarantine shouldn't have worked because rats dont respect it? A little sketchy, since it technically wasn't even the rats, it was the fleas. Also, early on in plague outbreak most of the rats will die, thinning the population considerably. The fleas being hungry would be forced to jump species, but it the people are quarantined, there'd be no one to jump on, since theyre all in hiding and not in contact with rat-infested areas. Oft times, and there's evidence for this as well, quarantine did not work, since someone with plague would have already fled to the town...there is an incubation period, so you won't be sick right away, giving the person time to run around and find others to infect. I dunno, I just think that calling quarantine effectiveness the best argument against plague is very weak.

i will probably read the book though, thanks for the tip. 8)

Re:Pet Peeve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9629689)

The speed of spread, and the high mortality rate are what you'd get with a "virgin soil" epidemic; disease introduced to a population with no inherent immunity. An example: early acccounts of the spread of Tuberculosis amongst the native peoples in North America describe them succumbing in extra quick time, with a disease progression quite unlike that normally seen in Europeans. As the most susceptible died, the disease course over generations became identical to that seen in ancestrally disease-ridden Europeans...So I don't think that dissimilarities between the Black Death and modern plague necessarily mean they weren't the same bacillus.

Re:Pet Peeve (2, Informative)

zaroastra (676615) | about 10 years ago | (#9626562)

here, i even found you a paper on it! [cambridge.org]
(proving that the black death was not the bubonic plague that is)

Re:Pet Peeve (1)

cephyn (461066) | about 10 years ago | (#9626694)

well i wouldnt say it PROVES it but i will read the paper. looks fascinating. 8) thanks!

Some major-leaguer's are missing (4, Funny)

Bowling Moses (591924) | about 10 years ago | (#9624967)

I don't get their criteria for giving out the cards. Some major-league diseases are missing like tuberculosis and cholera, but they give some small-time (yeah yeah it's not small if you've got it) diseases their own card. Damnit, I want a 1918 influenza [stanford.edu] card! It killed millions worldwide--a very pricey card I'm sure.

Re:Some major-leaguer's are missing (2, Informative)

slashjames (789070) | about 10 years ago | (#9626420)

I agree. It originated from near where I am (Fort Riley, Kansas). Also has the dubius honor of contributing to the end of WWI from both sides having too many sick troops to mount a campaign.

Clearly, designed for children (3, Insightful)

jtheory (626492) | about 10 years ago | (#9625994)

...by people who don't have a great understanding of children.

I think this would have given me nightmares when I was a kid (check out page 2, with the thick white membrane in the throat of the Diptheria sufferer, or the backwards-bent leg of the Polio girl)... but I think the helpful translations of scientific words would have made up for it. This snippet (from the Cyclosporiasis blurb) is a fine example:
You may get this disease from eating food or swallowing water that has been contaminated with feces
(poop). About a week after you get this parasite, you may start to feel sick and have diarrhea.

Yeah, I'm sure the kid knows what "contaminated" means... come on, guys. Though I will forgive them not trying to explain "diarrhea" using small words.

Heh... found another one (1)

jtheory (626492) | about 10 years ago | (#9626046)

On the hepatitis card [cdc.gov] we learn (gather round, kiddies) that this disease "is found mainly in bowel movements". No helpful "poop" translation on this one -- sorry, kids!

work (0, Troll)

lubricated (49106) | about 10 years ago | (#9626346)

your tax dollars at work.

Mmmm, cryptosporidiosis (1)

fireduck (197000) | about 10 years ago | (#9626450)

"you can get crypto by putting in your mouth food or water that has come into contact with feces (poop)"

what they're leaving out is the "or by working in a lab where a co-worker accidentally ordered viable oocysts rather than inactivated ones for his studies". Getting crypto is absolutely no fun. But it's nice to see that I've experienced 4 of the cards there (crypto, vaccines, chickenpox, and ulcer). not sure how many of the others i'm willing to try out.

Re:Mmmm, cryptosporidiosis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9626859)

Uh.. chickenpox?

Don't you DIE from chickenpox, unless you've been vaccinated in which case you're not going to get it in the first place...?

Re:Mmmm, cryptosporidiosis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9627520)

Don't you DIE from chickenpox

No.

Re:Mmmm, cryptosporidiosis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9627642)

That's smallpox. Chickenpox isn't any more fatal than the flu. Probably even less, although I don't have any statistics handy. Hell, most people (in America, at least. I'm not sure about other places) get it once in their life, usually during childhood.

Don't Stop There! (2, Funny)

Madcapjack (635982) | about 10 years ago | (#9626664)

Wait until they come out with the action figures.

Facinating, in a gross kind of way... (1)

Vornzog (409419) | about 10 years ago | (#9626698)

I picked some of these up (along with some stuffed microbes) when I was down at the CDC last winter. (Doing flu research does have some benefits...)

The cards are kind of cool, but can be extremely gross or revolting. It's the kind of thing I wish I'd know about as a kid.

Kids get attracted by gross stuff (1)

IBX (793635) | about 10 years ago | (#9627647)

I memorized all common highly poisonous mushroom from a book at age of 5. The more ugly and dangerous, the more these mushroom attracted me.

Fascinations (3, Informative)

mhollis (727905) | about 10 years ago | (#9627863)

Children quickly become fascinated with things that are a part (and sometimes a horrible part) of their lives. One could say that the purpose for children is to go forth and gather diseases from schools so that they might infect their parents. And so do adults, as in the case of the Black Death and the pandemics of bubonic plague that swept Europe.

A prime case of this type of fascination is in the art of the time, such as that of Hieronymus Bosch [floridaimaging.com] and others who began drawing images of intense suffering and disease.

The death caused by these pandemics may also be seen as beneficent, as it gave rise to increased rights for the peasantry, the creation of a "middle class" and the concept of general human rights, which lead to the end of the feudal system of governments. The nobility could no longer compel peasants to work their land just for their protection and the peasantry demanded actual pay for work.

This also gave rise to the general usage of sirnames that stuck throughout generations, as the kings would tax their noblemen on the basis of the potential in numbers of persons on their lands, instead of only on the size of their holdings. When the kings revenue collectors were faced with seventeen "Johns" they would assign names to them on basis of their employment, where they lived, or how they looked instead of who their father or master was.

One can usually find the etymology of one's sirname in the common tongue of this period.

These PDFs SUCK! (1)

dnahelix (598670) | about 10 years ago | (#9627870)

The content of these PDF's is just two bitmaps set at 100 DPI.
There is no selectabe text, the bitmap text is too small.
If I flatten the whole thing and save it out as JPG I get a file 1/3 to 1/4 the size.
WTF?

and a Fun Game! (2, Informative)

Petrol (18446) | about 10 years ago | (#9627932)

I found this game [rpgshop.com] (Black Death) some years ago. If I recall correctly it started out as a simulation of how disease spreads. It was turned into a game and every once in a while I whip it out to horrify my more 'sensible' friends. Great fun, well worth the $10 I spent a decade ago.

HP? (1)

wellwatch (588301) | about 10 years ago | (#9629389)

How many HPs does Recreational Water Illness have, and how much mana do I have to tap to use it?

Infectious Disease? (1)

No Tears In The End (452319) | about 10 years ago | (#9629720)

Since when is an ulcer [cdc.gov] an infectious disease?

Re:Infectious Disease? (3, Informative)

Wirr (157970) | about 10 years ago | (#9629844)

Since when is an ulcer an infectious disease?

Since the discovery of Helicobacter pylori [nih.gov] , which indeed causes ulcers.

The link I gave doesn't say so, but as far as I know it is strongly suspected that it is indeed contagiuous.

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