For sixpenceee

This is the grave of a little girl known as “Violin Annie”. Annie was a young girl who lived near my hometown in the late 1800’s. While alive, she was very passionate about her violin. She would play for everyone, and even wanted to become a professional violinist. Unfortunately, she passed away at the age of eleven due to diphtheria. She was buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Southern Illinois. Her parents erected this statue of her above her grave to symbolize her love for violin playing. I had always heard about her, but I wanted to visit her myself. Rumors say if you go to the cemetery at night and listen hard enough, you can hear her playing her violin. They also say that if you visit her grave on Halloween night, you can see her statue glowing.



Though often used as a synonym of “isolation” (where sick people are kept from well people), quarantine is technically defined as “to separate those suspected of exposure to an illness to see if they become ill” - hence the quarantine laws for livestock and pets when moving between countries, especially countries where rabies or hoof-and-mouth disease isn’t endemic.

These signs were posted on houses and farms that had a patient (and, as such, exposed family or herd members) infected with, from top to bottom, hoof-and-mouth disease, scarlet fever, diphtheria, smallpox, and poliomyelitis.


@sixpenceee, I thought this might interest you. This is a monument and burial site in my home town of a little girl called H. Annie Marshall, otherwise known as Violin Annie. She was the daughter of the town doctor and she died in 1890 of diphtheria at age 11. Her mother and father were so distraught with the death of their daughter that they had this monument raised to remember her and her favorite past time. It’s legend in my home town that sometimes at night, you can faintly hear the sound of her violin.

Medicinal Herbs & Uses: Dandelion


Taraxacum officinale

Other Names Common Dandelion, Lion’s Tooth, Priest’s Crown, Pu Gong Ying, Swine’s Snout, Dent de Lion Dandelion

External Uses

The fresh juice of Dandelion is applied externally to fight bacteria and help heal wounds. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus, pneumococci, meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, proteus. The latex contained in the plant sap can be used to remove corns and warts.

Internal Uses

Dandelion is also used for the treatment of the gall bladder, kidney and urinary disorders, gallstones, jaundice, cirrhosis, hypoglycemia, dyspepsia with constipation, edema associated with high blood pressure and heart weakness, chronic joint and skin complaints, gout, eczema and acne. As a tonic, Dandelion strengthens the kidneys. An infusion of the root encourages the steady elimination of toxins from the body. Dandelion is a powerful diuretic but does not deplete the body of potassium.

Research is revealing that the many constituents of Dandelion including Taraxacin, Taraxacoside, Inulin, Phenolic acids, Sesquiterpene lactones, Triterpenes, Coumarins, Catortenoids and Minerals, mainly Potassium and calcium, are very valuable in curing a number of disorders and illnesses. Dandelion is traditionally used as a tonic and blood purifier, for constipation, inflammatory skin conditions, joint pain, eczema and liver dysfunction, including liver conditions such as hepatitis and jaundice.

Other Uses

When placed in a paper bag with unripe fruit, the flowers and leaves of Dandelion release ethylene gas ripening the fruit quickly. A liquid plant food is made from the root and leaves. A dark red dye is obtained from Dandelion root. A cosmetic skin lotion made from the appendages at the base of the leaf blades distilled in water, is used to clear the skin and is effective in fading freckles.


Dandelion Sap for
Rough skin

Dandelion salad for
Sluggish liver
Urinary problems
Fluid retention

Dandelion tincture for
Skin problems
Sluggish liver
Urinary problems
Fluid retention
Chronic illness

Dandelion flower infused oil for
Muscle tension
Muscle aches
Stiff necks

Magickal Uses

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Jupiter
Element: Air
Deity: Hecate
Power: Divination, wishes, calling spirits

Drink dandelion tea or coffee to promote psychic powers. Leave a cup of this hot infusion by the bed to call spirits.

Dandelion Coffee:

Dig up the roots, trim off the leaves and stems and any small rootlets. Wash off the earth and scrub the roots well, leave them in a warm place to drain and dry. Cut any larger roots in half and into short lengths, spread the pieces on a shallow roasting tin and bake in a hot oven (400F, 200C, Gas 6) for 30 minutes until the roots are brown and dry all through. Allow to cool then grind. Spread the grounds on the roasting tin and roast them for 7 minutes in a moderate oven (350F, 180C, Gas 4). Put 5-6 tablespoons grounds in a warm jub, pour on 500ml/2 cups/1 pint boiling water, stir and stand for 30 minutes. Strain into a pan and re-heat.

Dandelion Fizz

Gather the dandelion flowers in the sun, when they are fully open. The drink is very mildly alcoholic, sweet and quenching.

1 litre/5 cups prepared dandelion flowers
1 ½ litres/4 ½ US quarts water
1 kilo/4 cups sugar
2 lemons

Trim the stalks from the flowers, but leave the green sepals on and discard any overblown flowers or unopened buds. The prepared dandelions should fill a 1 litre/5 cups measure when gently pressed down.

Wash the flowers in a colander and tip them into an earthenware, enamel or plastic container preferably with a well fitting lid. Pour the boiling water on to the dandelions, cover the vessel with a lid, board or weighted plate and leave to stand for 12 hours.

Strain the liquid through a double thickness of muslin into a large saucepan. Add the sugar and the pared rind and juice of the lemons. Heat gently and stir until the sugar has dissolved, but do not allow to boil. Strain the liquid into jugs and leave to cool. Pour into clean, dry bottles with strong screw caps. Store in a cool, dark place. The brew is ready to rink in three or four weeks.


Why Vaccines Work

This week’s It’s Okay To Be Smart is a shot in the arm about the importance of vaccines. Please check it out, and share it with your friends and family.

We’ve all heard the recent news that diseases like measles are making a comeback in some parts of the U.S. thanks to some parents decision to not vaccinate their kids (or to vaccinate them on a different schedule than what doctors recommend). Vaccine rates remain pretty high overall (although the U.S. is far from first place), but super-infectious diseases like measles only require a bit of complacency to rear their ugly viral heads. 

Vaccines have saved more than 700,000 children’s lives, and that's just since 1994. Diseases like diphtheria and polio have essentially been eradicated from Earth. In the 20th century, 1.7 BILLION people were killed by infectious diseases, many of which are now vaccine preventible.  

Anyone needing further reminder of just how effective vaccines have been at saving lives need only look at this infographic by Leon Farrant:

As Seth Mnookin puts it, vaccines have become “victims of their own success." 

What do I mean by that? Thankfully (Jonas Salk FTW!), almost no one in my generation knows anybody with polio, or any of a host of other horrible diseases. But I worry this has made their threats seem distant, giving us a sort of complacency or "generational amnesia” for things that are actually really freakin’ dangerous. In fact, my video features a story about scurvy, another forgotten disease, that rings disturbingly true today.

Vaccine fears are not new. They didn’t start with Jenny McCarthy or Andrew Wakefield or the completely fraudulent claims of vaccines causing autism. They actually go back to 1796 when Edward Jenner tested the first smallpox vaccine. But to refuse them, to deny their life-saving importance in this day and age, in a nation where science has allowed us to have a quality of life never before seen in the history of human civilization, that is the worst kind of privilege.

When we protect ourselves and our children with vaccines, we protect everyone around us. As Eula Biss says, vaccines are “based on people voluntarily using their bodies to protect other vulnerable people.” They are one of the most altruistic and friendly things we can do to aid our fellow humans. Let’s not forget that.


Vaccine-preventable diseases.  Getting my nerd on for The Lacquer Legion’s Weird Science challenge– I wanted to celebrate vaccines by showing some of the pathogens they protect against.  From pinky to thumb: diptheria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae), polio (poliovirus), smallpox (variola virus), measles (measles virus), and rabies (rabies virus).



Today, at 102 years old, Ingeborg Rapoport became the oldest person ever to receive a doctoral degree. Although she completed her dissertation on diphtheria seventy-seven years ago at the University of Hamburg, she was denied the opportunity to take her oral examination due to “racial reasons”. 

Rapoport had been raised as a Protestant, but her mother’s Jewish background led to Nazis deeming her a “first-degree crossbreed” ineligible for academic advancement. At this time, it was not uncommon for the regime to push “non-Aryan” students and professors out of universities, and while many of these individuals met the end of their lives in concentration camps, Rapoport avoided this fate and escaped for the United States.

Arriving to the country penniless in 1938, Rapoport interned at several hospitals and applied to 48 medical schools, eventually gaining acceptance at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. Upon completing her degree, she headed to work at a Cincinnati hospital, where she met Samuel Mitja Rapoport and married him two years later. The couple had four children together.

Fast-forward several decades and Rapoport’s son Tom grows up to become a professor at Harvard Medical School. Through one of his colleagues, his mother’s story reaches the current dean of the University of Hamburg’s medical school, Dr. Uwe Koch-Gromus. Determined to right this Nazi injustice, he set out on a quest for Rapoport to earn her degree, rejecting the university legal department’s suggestion to simply award her an honorary doctorate.

Keep reading

do you not understand the scomiche language

  • “I will literally pee in your mouth if you do that”
  • “cuz I'm bashful”
  • “go check it out before you die”
  • “you’re so gay…YOURE SO GAY”
  • “hi. my name is samantha. *bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep*”
  • “I need to dab”
  • “I spewed everywhere”
  • “boop boop”
  • “loving the hashtag…”
  • “I’m uncomfortable”
  • “felt it in!”
  • “ytipidnires”
  • “ewwwww I’m terrified never show that to anyone ever”
  • “this poncho is thermal”
  • “sweet ass corn”
  • “who had the audacity to put that cakey ass make up on my facE??”
  • “so my weekly obsession is this cupcake from the milk chocolate line”
  • “slayslayslayslayslaywerktwerk”
  • “how could i read the stars so wrong?”
  • “are you rich? no, really. are you rich?”
  • “daddy…i have some cookiees (and your cookies are your boobs)”
  • “i feel the constellations in my bones”
  • “hello my name is djooooo”
  • “hi, my name’s gerald, 23, i’m into accounting…i know, boring”
  • “I wouldn’t call myself a dancer persay, more of a mover”
  • “i need to filter the air of my apartment with a wet tissue”
  • “pick your bottles!!”
  • “Oc…tavious jones”
  • “red, is the color, of the devil’s skin”
  • “joshua fit the battle fit the battle of jericho, joshua fit the battle fit the battle of jericho”
  • “if pink is the flavor…solve the riddle!!
  • “how did it feel?…not too bad baby”
  • “i would be maleficent because i’m misunderstood, but also a fierce queen”
  • “this candle is a blessing upon my life”
  • “there are literally 110 sprinkles on the ground”
  • “did you and nicole ever have sex?”
  • “find ur light girl”

xtra points to anyone who can name the episodes each of these come from

Hysterectomy after Diphtheric Endometritis

Diphtheria wasn’t just a disease of the respiratory organs, despite the the pharyngeal infection being the primary cause of death.

Complications sometimes included infection of autonomic muscles, such as the heart (infectious myocarditis) or uterus (endometritis), or the destruction of beneficial bacterium in the small intestine by the diphtheric toxins.

While we have vaccines and antibiotics these days, the only cure for diphtheric endometritis in Victorian times was a complete hysterectomy - removal of the infected uterus.

An American Text-Book of Obstetrics. Edited by Richard C. Norris, 1895.

Germany's oldest student, 102, gets PhD denied by Nazis

A 102-year-old German woman has become the world’s oldest person to be awarded a doctorate on Tuesday, almost 80 years after the Nazis prevented her from sitting her final exam.

Article link

I just thought this was so great! Her name is Ingeborg Rapoport and she got her doctorate in diphtheria, an infection of the nose and throat.

Her supervisor even said that he TOTALLY WOULD HAVE given her a Ph.D. if he could, but being half-Jewish at the time (in 1938), he couldn’t.

So she went to America, got a degree there and became a paediatrician, then came back to East Berlin and received a national prize for her work in dramatically reducing the infant mortality rate in East Germany. She held Europe’s first chair in neonatal medicine!!

What a fabulous woman!

The Disneyland Measles Outbreak and California's Most Dangerous School Districts for Kindergartners

To attend a public or private U.S. elementary school, children must be up to date with the following vaccinations: Polio, Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis, Measels-Mumps-Rubella, Hepatitis B and Varicella. 

In this Silk we look at the numbers behind public kindergartens enrollments and the relative immunization statistics. The source of the data is the California Department of Public Health. We’ve focused on public kindergartens, and have aggregated statistics on public vs. private.

Here’s 5 things we found:

  • In 22 Californian schools districts 50% or more of the children are not up to date with vaccinations. Of these, almost a fourth are located in Humboldt County. Explore this fact here.
  • 7.5% of the children in CA public kindergartens are missing the Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine. Explore this fact here.
  • In 8 public school districts more than half of the kindergartners don’t have all mandatory vaccinations because of parents’ personal beliefs. Explore this fact here.
  • At Big Sur Charter, 10 out of 13 children (77%) aren’t up to date with vaccinations because of personal beliefs. Explore this fact here.
  • Personal beliefs exempt from required vaccinations 6% of grade-K children enrolled in California’s private schools. In public school the number is “only” 3%. Explore this fact here.

Diphtheric Conjunctivitis

While many people who know of the infectious disease diphtheria - which we’re protected against by the TDaP vaccine, and which was the impetus for the “Great Race of Mercy”, which is commemorated by the Iditarod - know that it can cause systemic infections and death by suffocation, one of the most common complications is often confused for other conditions.

Diphtheria can cause an acute conjunctivitis if the bacteria infect the conjunctiva of the eye. If it is not brought under control promptly, the toxins exuded by the bacteria can cause necrosis in both the eyelid and the cornea, which can lead to serious vision problems or blindness in patients.

Historically, blindness was a major problem for survivors of diphtheria, scarlet fever, ocular gonorrhea, and smallpox.

Atlas of the External Diseases of the Eye. Dr. O. Haab, 1899.

Tetanus shots needed every 30 years, not every 10

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University are challenging the convention that tetanus and diphtheria vaccine boosters need to be administered every 10 years. Their paper in Clinical Infectious Diseases recommends current adult vaccination schedule should be revisited.            

“We have always been told to get a tetanus shot every 10 years, but actually, there is very little data to prove or disprove that timeline,” says Mark K. Slifka, Ph.D., a professor at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at OHSU. “When we looked at the levels of immunity among 546 adults, we realized that antibody titers against tetanus and diphtheria lasted much longer then previously believed.”

If the U.S. switched from a 10-year schedule to a 30-year schedule, this approach would still be more conservative than other countries while reducing the number of potentially unnecessary vaccinations!

Journal reference: Clinical Infectious Diseases

Clostridium tetani spores, magnified about 3,000 times their actual size.         © Alfred Pasieka, Peter Arnold, Inc.          


If you’ve been religiously following this blog for the past month (which is probably, like, two of you) then you know how much I love visiting cemeteries. Nothing really creeps me out too much, except when I see those bricked-up mausoleums, which basically means it is filled to capacity or they don’t expect anyone else to be buried in it. Anyway, remember when I told you about the grave of a young girl named Inez Clarke? Well, there is an equally creepy one down in Alabama.

A 10 minute detour off I-85 brings you to Oakwood Cemetery in the town of Lanett, a typical burial ground in that the markers are flat and pretty much all the same. But there is one resting place that stands out, probably because it doesn’t look like a grave at all. In December of 1933, four-year-old Nadine Earles wanted nothing but a playhouse for Christmas. Her father started on it, but she became sick with diphtheria, which turned into pneumonia. Her parents gave her a tea set and life-size doll, hoping it would help make her feel better, but all she just wanted was the playhouse. Nadine told her father, “Me want it now.” She passed away December 18th, right before Christmas. The playhouse was not yet finished. But her father hired a contractor to build it over her tombstone and filled it with her toys, a bike, and of course the little tea set. When looking through the windows of the house, visitors can still see the items, including newer toys, which makes it even creepier. 

Nadine’s family continued to visit her playhouse over the years, as seen in the black and white photo above from 1945. Her parents are buried right outside of it. Peering through the windows of the playhouse, visitors can sort of make out her gravestone. It reads:

‘Our Darling Little Girl
Sweetest In The World
April 3, 1929
December 18, 1933
Little Nadine Earles
In Heaven We Hope To Meet
Me Want It Now’

(Image Source 1 & 2)

Young woman with elephantiasis, 1877 -  At a time when infant mortality and childhood infectious diseases were far more common than today, this girl contracted diphtheria and scarlet fever at age 5. By age 17 she had developed elephantiasis documented here. The childhood sickness had infected her body’s lymphatic system and closed the lymph vessels at the top of her legs, causing the fats usually transported by that system to stay put, swell, and harden. Five days after this photograph was taken, the girl died of complications from the infection at New York’s Bellevue Hospital

A 6 year old boy died in Spain because his parents listened to the idiots saying vacciness are not important and he died of  Diphtheria. It’s the first time since almost 30 years and the parents just said that they felt ‘tricked’ by anti-vaxxers

Now tell me that those vaccinations aren’t important or needed.

There is a movement by all the men in the world to make sure Women don’t get a fair shake. Men yell at Women from cars. Men deny Women equal pay. Men tell Women to “smile.” Men enact laws to keep Women from health care they need. This is not opinion, this is fact. The reason is a Woman dreamed the universe into existence. Women give birth, men take life. Therefore, men are jealous of this power. War is menstruation envy. A Woman dreamed the universe into being. That is why it is called “the Big Bang”–only a Woman can make a bang that big. If a man had done it, it would be called the Disappointingly Early Theory of the Universe. Men can only give birth to sacred bullets through their Viagra-assisted manshaft. Women deal with the pain of childbirth; men act like they have diphtheria if they get a cold. We all know Columbus and George Washington, but who is taught about Sojourner Truth or Susan B. Anthony? Women in the United States could not vote until 1920. Then only because they demanded it for years. Any advances Women have made they have done by organizing and being better at everything than men just to be recognized and be heard. They have to.
—  Greg Proops