The spread of the black death.
Poland, tell us your secret.
Poland is the
If I remember correctly, Poland’s secret is that the jews where being blamed all over europe (as usual) as scapegoats for the black plague. Poland was the only place that accepted Jewish refugees, so pretty much all of them moved there.
Now, one of the major causes of getting the plague was poor hygiene. This proved very effective for the plague because everyone threw their poop into the streets because there were no sewers, and literally no one bathed because it was against their religion. Unless they were jewish, who actually bathed relatively often. When all the jews moved to Poland, they brought bathing with them, and so the plague had little effect there.
Milan survived by quarantining its city and burning down the house of anyone showing early symptoms, with the entire family inside it.
I reblogged this tons of times, but the Milan info is new.
Damn Italy, you scary.
Poland: “Hey, feeling a bit down? Have a quick wash! There, you see? All better”
Milan: “Aw, feeling a bit sick are we? BURN MOTHERFUCKER, BURN!!!!!”
Also, this might have something to do with it: from what I understand, O blood type is uncommonly… common in Poland. Something to do with large families in small villages and a LOT of intermarriage. The black plague was caused by a bacterium that produced, in its waste in the human body, wastes that very closely mimic the “B” marker sugars on red blood cells that keep the body from attacking its own immune system. Anyone who has a B blood type had an immune system that was naturally desensitized to the presence of the bacterium, and therefore was more prone to developing the disease. Anyone who had an O type was doubly lucky because the O blood type means the total absence of ANY markers, A or B, meaning that their bodys’ immune system would react quickly and violently against the invaders, while someone with an A may show symptoms and recover more slowly, while someone with B would have just died. Because O is a recessive blood type, it shows in higher numbers when more people who carry the recessive genes marry other people who also carry the recessive gene. Poland, which has a nearly 700 year history of being conquered by or partnering with every other nation in the surrounding area, was primarily an agricultural country, focused around smaller, farming communities where people were legally tied to, and required to work, “their” land, and so historically never “spread” their genes across a large area. The economy was, and had been, unstable for a very long period of time leading up to the plague, the government had been ineffective and had very little reach in comparison to the armies of the other countries around for a very very long time, and so its people largely remained in small communities where multiple generations of cross-familial inbreeding could have allowed for this more recessive gene to show up more frequently. Thus, there could be a higher percentage of O blood types in any region of the country, guaranteeing less spread of the illness and moving slower when it did manage to travel. Combine this with the fact that there were very few large, urban centers where the disease would thrive, and with the above facts, and you’ve got a lovely recipe for avoiding the plague.
Interestingly enough, as a result from the plague, the entirety of Europe now has a higher percentage of people with O blood type than any other region of the world.
WHY IS THIS ALL SO COOL
When Tumblr teaches you more about the plague than 12 years of school ever did.
Just to throw a nod in, as a medieval historian, this is all credible, and is the leading theory as to the plagues effectiveness at this point. So. Enjoy your new knowledge!
WHERE ARE MY HISTORY FOLKS.
This archive is incredible. I’ve discovered it today and have just been rolling around the WWII section. So many sad, wonderful, moving and fascinating things captured on film.
IT’S AMAZING, ISN’T IT??
I was turned onto it when my filmmaker buddy was trawling it for a project he was doing, and I kind of fell into it face-first and didn’t surface for a week or so. So much good stuff!
During the Bubonic Plague, doctors wore these bird-like masks to avoid becoming sick. They would fill the beaks with spices and rose petals, so they wouldn’t have to smell the rotting bodies.
A theory during the Bubonic Plague was that the plague was caused by evil spirits. To scare the spirits away, the masks were intentionally designed to be creepy.
Mission fucking accomplished
Okay so I love this but it doesn’t cover the half of why the design is awesome and actually borders on making sense.
It wasn’t just that they didn’t want to smell the infected and dead, they thought it was crucial to protecting themselves. They had no way of knowing about what actually caused the plague, and so one of the other theories was that the smell of the infected all by itself was evil and could transmit the plague. So not only would they fill their masks with aromatic herbs and flowers, they would also burn fires in public areas, so that the smell of the smoke would “clear the air”. This all related to the miasma theory of contagion, which was one of the major theories out there until the 19th century. And it makes sense, in a way. Plague victims smelled awful, and there’s a general correlation between horrible septic smells and getting horribly sick if you’re around what causes them for too long.
You can see now that we’ve got two different theories as to what caused the plague that were worked into the design. That’s because the whole thing was an attempt by the doctors to cover as many bases as they could think of, and we’re still not done.
The glass eyepieces. They were either darkened or red, not something you generally want to have to contend with when examining patients. But the plague might be spread by eye contact via the evil eye, so best to ward that off too.
The illustration shows a doctor holding a stick. This was an examination tool, that helped the doctors keep some distance between themselves and the infected. They already had gloves on, but the extra level of separation was apparently deemed necessary. You could even take a pulse with it. Or keep people the fuck away from you, which was apparently a documented use.
Finally, the robe. It’s not just to look fancy, the cloth was waxed, as were all of the rest of their clothes. What’s one of the properties of wax? Water-based fluids aren’t absorbed by it. This was the closest you could get to a sterile, fully protecting garment back then. Because at least one person along the line was smart enough to think “Gee, I’d really rather not have the stuff coming out of those weeping sores anywhere on my person”.
So between all of these there’s a real sense that a lot of real thought was put into making sure the doctors were protected, even if they couldn’t exactly be sure from what. They worked with what information they had. And frankly, it’s a great design given what was available! You limit exposure to aspirated liquids, limit exposure to contaminated liquids already present, you limit contact with the infected. You also don’t give fleas any really good place to hop onto. That’s actually useful.
Beyond that, there were contracts the doctors would sign before they even got near a patient. They were to be under quarantine themselves, they wouldn’t treat patients without a custodian monitoring them and helping when something had to be physically contacted, and they would not treat non-plague patients for the duration. There was an actual system in place by the time the plague doctors really became a thing to make sure they didn’t infect anyone either.
These guys were the product of the scientific process at work, and the scientific process made a bitchin’ proto-hazmat suit. And containment protocols!
The things I would have done to the young John Winchester were unheard of in the 1970’s. He makes me so hot that I would rewrite history for one night with that man.
Submitted by anonymous.
Ah, youth. Unless it involved electricity it probably wasn’t unheard of in the 1770’s.
This BAMF lady here, is called Hannah Snell :D
She was born in Worcester in 1723, low class, and married in 1744 to James Snell, who wasn’t exactly the poster boy at being a husband - he got her pregnant, then sold off her possessions to pay for his whores, and eventually ran off and left her and the baby, who died at seven months.
Most people would have remarried, but not Hannah - she dressed up as a man, created the alias James Gray, and JOINED THE ARMY in order to find him.
Now, she joined in 1745, ended up fighting in Scotland due to the Jacobite rebellion at the time, but then ended up being given five hundred lashes for refusing to obey her sergeant (who had ordered her to find a whore for him).
So she deserted, walked from Carlisle (where she was based), to Portsmouth, AND JOINED THE MARINES.
While still pretending to be James Gray.
She spent the next five years sailing round the world, fighting in land and sea battles, and being noted for her bravery under fire, and in one battle (at Pondicherry in India), she was horrifically injured - five shots to one leg, six to the other, and one to the groin.
While lying in the field hospital waiting to be seen, she knew that she’d end up being discovered - so what did she do?
She got an orderly to find her bandages and liniment, and then, using her fingers, dug out the shot, dressed the wound, and when the surgeons came round, she told them she was just shot in the legs.
She was fully healed in three months.
Nothing stopped her, and even with sharing the same sleeping areas as her friends, as her officers (she was the batman for many an officer), even sharing the same bed, she wasn’t found out!
In 1750 however, she was discharged along with her fellow Marines, and once they collected all their money, they went to the pub (as you would).
In the middle of the pub, she stood up, and said to her friends:
“Why gentlemen, James Gray will cast off his skin like a snake and become a new creature. In a word, gentlemen, I am as much a woman as my mother ever was, and my real name is Hannah Snell.”
One of her friends proposed on the spot.
Her friends then persuaded her to apply for a pension from the head of the English army, the Duke of Cumberland. Hannah followed this advice and approached the Duke on 16 June 1750 while he was reviewing troops in St. James’s Park. Surprised by the curious figure standing before him, the Duke accepted a petition from Hannah, which detailed her many adventures.
Within days, news of Hannah’s exploits had trickled into the London press and the public clamoured for more information. Eager to profit from this notoriety, Hannah immediately sold her story to the London publisher, Robert Walker. Her appearances on stage in uniform caused a sensation, and the news of her adventures quickly spread across Britain.
In November 1750, the Royal Chelsea Hospital officially recognised Snell’s military service and granted her a lifetime pension. She lived for another forty years, marrying twice and raising two sons, having a brief run on the stage as a celebrity, and opening her own pub called “The Female Warrior”. In 1791 however, Snell was admitted to the lunatic asylum, Bedlam, where she died six months later.
And the husband who had started this all?
He was pressganged by the Dutch Navy, and died in a bar, penniless :D
Needless to say, these are the days I wish I had a TARDIS so I could find her and FLAIL :D
(Information about her taken from The Female Soldier; Or, The surprising Adventures of Hannah Snell (1st edition), The Augustan Reprint Society, publ. No. 257, Los Angeles, 1989, and http://www.hannahsnell.com/biography.htm . Photo from Google :))
From the Economist’s Eastern Approaches blog:
Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of a pub when Serbia bumps into Austria and spills Austria’s pint. Austria demands Serbia buy it a complete new suit because there are splashes on its trouser leg. Germany expresses its support for Austria’s point of view. Britain recommends that everyone calm down a bit.
Serbia points out that it can’t afford a whole suit, but offers to pay for the cleaning of Austria’s trousers. Russia and Serbia look at Austria. Austria asks Serbia who it’s looking at. Russia suggests that Austria should leave its little brother alone. Austria inquires as to whose army will assist Russia in compelling it to do so. Germany appeals to Britain that France has been looking at it, and that this is sufficiently out of order that Britain should not intervene. Britain replies that France can look at who it wants to, that Britain is looking at Germany too, and what is Germany going to do about it?
Germany tells Russia to stop looking at Austria, or Germany will render Russia incapable of such action. Britain and France ask Germany whether it’s looking at Belgium. Turkey and Germany go off into a corner and whisper.
When they come back, Turkey makes a show of not looking at anyone. Germany rolls up its sleeves, looks at France, and punches Belgium. France and Britain punch Germany. Austria punches Russia. Germany punches Britain and France with one hand and Russia with the other. Russia throws a punch at Germany, but misses and nearly falls over. Japan calls over from the other side of the room that it’s on Britain’s side, but stays there. Italy surprises everyone by punching Austria.
Australia punches Turkey, and gets punched back. There are no hard feelings because Britain made Australia do it. France gets thrown through a plate glass window, but gets back up and carries on fighting. Russia gets thrown through another one, gets knocked out, suffers brain damage, and wakes up with a complete personality change. Italy throws a punch at Austria and misses, but Austria falls over anyway.
Italy raises both fists in the air and runs round the room chanting. America waits till Germany is about to fall over from sustained punching from Britain and France, then walks over and smashes it with a barstool, then pretends it won the fight all by itself. By now all the chairs are broken and the big mirror over the bar is shattered. Britain, France and America agree that Germany threw the first punch, so the whole thing is Germany’s fault. While Germany is still unconscious, they go through its pockets, steal its wallet, and buy drinks for all their friends.
“Germany rolls up its sleeves, looks at France, and punches Belgium.”
D Y I N G
This it the Memorial to Homosexuals persecuted under Nazism in Berlin. I remember that I read about it when it opened, but had forgotten it existed. But I went to the Brandenburg Gate today and on the long list of signs pointing to various things, was a sign for this.
I couldn’t find it at first, and wandered all over the Tiergarten looking for it. While looking for it, I found a big stone slab that someone had spray painted: Smile You Are Beautiful onto. Only after exiting the Tiergarten, finding more signs and doubling back, did I discover this to be the memorial.
It ha a small aperture on one side through which you can look and see videos of same sex couples kissing. The kisses are not chaste, and it is clear that these people died in the name of desire as much as love and identity. It is, to an American, shocking. But so is everything about Berlin’s relationship with desire. It is not less.
You should know that the glass on the aperture has been shattered repeatedly since the memorial was put up, so that smile graffiti is a vast improvement. As you can see in my photos, someone had left a rose there before I got there.
The English text at the memorial says:
In Nazi Germany, homosexuality was persecuted to a degree unprecedented in history. In 1935, the National Socialists issued an order making all male homosexuality a crime; the provisions governing homosexual behavior in Section 175 of the Criminal Code were significantly expanded and made stricter. A kiss was enough reason to prosecute. There were more than 50,000 convictions. Under Section 175, the punishment was imprisonment; in some cases, convicted offenders were castrated. Thousands of men were sent to concentration camps for being gay; many of them died there. They died of hunger, disease and abuse or were the victims of targeted killings.
The National Socialists destroyed the communities of gay men and women. Female homosexuality was not prosecuted, except in annexed Austria; the National Socialists did not find it as threatening as male homosexuality. However, lesbians who came into conflict with the regime were also subject to repressive measures. Under the Nazi regime, gay men and women lived in fear and under constant pressure to hide their sexuality.
For many years, the homosexual victims of National Socialism were not included in public commemorations — neither in the Federal Republic of Germany nor in the German Democratic Republic. In both East and West Germany, homosexuality continued to be prosecuted for many years. In the Federal Republic, Section 175 remained in force without amendment until 1969.
Because of its history, Germany has a special responsibility to actively oppose the violation of gay men’s and lesbians’ human rights. In many parts of the world, people continue to be persecuted for their sexuality, homosexual love remains illegal and a kiss can be dangerous.
With this memorial, the Federal Republic of Germany intends to honour the victims of persecution and murder, to keep alive the memory of this injustice, and to create a lasting symbol of opposition to enmity, intolerance and the exclusion of gay men and lesbians.
The culture of memorialization and remembrance in Germany is something I know it is necessarily impossible for me to understand from the outside. But stumbling on this let me with more than I thought it would, because it is a reminder not just of horror, but of hope.