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.

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

The thing about dealing with professional bigots (Neo-Nazis, TERFs, etc.) is that most of the time, when people are terribly wrong about something, even when they’re wrong in a way that would be directly and objectively harmful to some people if they got their way, they are not being wrong out of spite.  

I don’t think the vast majority of antivaxxers go around thinking “gee, autistic self-advocates are getting uppity lately, I’d better go tweet at ASAN and tell them that I’d rather my kids and all their classmates got diphtheria than face an increased chance of turning out like them.  That’ll show ‘em!”  And super-strict prolifers who don’t even believe in exemptions for serious medical complications probably didn’t craft their beliefs because they had personal grudges against people dealing with ectopic pregnancies.  (If they’re that uncompromising they probably didn’t think about ectopic pregnancies at all.)  I think it’s more a matter of getting tunnel vision in the face of their Big Idea and not taking the collateral damage seriously.

But professional bigots know darn well that they’re hurting people, because that’s the entire point.

The reason this distinction is important is that I think dealing with people who are unintentionally hurting you as a side effect of pursuing some other agenda requires different rhetoric and strategies than dealing with people who are being willfully terrible to you as a matter of principle.  I know putting too much emphasis on intent (”it’s fucking magic!”) is unfashionable in some circles, but I think in this case it’s important.  At the very least, before you spend any time and energy explaining to people how the thing they’re advocating hurts people like you, you want to make sure that wasn’t their intention in the first place.

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.

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.


Sometime in the late 1890s or early 1900s, Martha Rendall moved in with Thomas Nichols Morris after he separated from his wife. Thomas was in custody of the five children from the failed marriage and Martha would force them to call her mother and began to abuse the children. She once beat one of the kids so bad that the young girl could not walk for weeks. The investigating officer of the incident said that Martha “delighted in seeing her victims writhe in agony, and from it derived sexual satisfaction.” Her first intended victim was 7 year old Annie. Martha’s m.o was to give the child something to drink that would give them a sore throat, then she would swab the back of their throats with hydrochloric acid. This would inflame the child’s throat causing them to be unable to eat leading to a long slow death from starvation. Annie died on July 28th 1907 with a death certificate stating she died of diphtheria. Next she would turn to the next daughter, who died on October 6th 1907, again with a death certificate stating it was diphtheria. In the winter of 1908 Martha then poisoned the third son. He was a bit older and it took longer to for him to succumb to her treatments. He died on October 6th 1908. Even after an autopsy nothing was found to incriminate Martha. In April of 1909 she turned her attention to George, the second son. He soon began to complain of a sore throat which Martha coated with her special syrup. He then ran away to his mothers house. His disappearance caused neighbors to ask questions about his location, eventually going to the police. Inspector Harry Mann began his investigation and heard lots of stories of the children having their throats swabbed with syrup. One of the neighbors claimed he often peeked into the windows and saw Martha standing in front of a screaming victim, rocking back and forth as if in ecstasy. Inspector Mann located George, the second son, who claimed that Martha had killed his brothers and sisters and was trying to kill him with spirits of salts, otherwise known as hydrochloric acid. When inspector Mann found out that Martha had purchased large quantities of spirits of salts during the time of the children’s illnesses it gave him enough information to get permission for an autopsy on the already deceased young ones. When the autopsy was done, a diluted hydrochloric acid trace was found on the throat tissue. At first both Martha and Thomas were charged with the murder however Thomas was soon acquitted as it was plain to see he had no part in Martha’s sadistic torture games. Although she proclaimed her innocence throughout she would be eventually found guilty and sentenced to death. She was executed October 6th at Fremantle Prison becoming the only woman to be hanged legally in Western Australia. Pictured above: Martha Rendell, some newspaper clippings about the case, Inspector Harry Mann and Martha’s grave, plot 409 at Fremantle Prison.

if ever someone in my presence says anything positive about chickenpox/measles parties

i’m going to ask them if they’d be interested in polio parties or diphtheria parties. or if they and their friends and coworkers like to get together for seasonal flu parties, every year.

“Always believe we have more solutions than problems”

Xiaojun Wang, Immunization Specialist

UNICEF Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand

Tell us a bit about your background. 

I was born and grew up in a least-developed province in China, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and dreamed of living in a developed city when I was a little girl. The dream was realized: I went to Shanghai, one of the most developed cities in China, 30 years ago, and completed my medical education in Shanghai Medical University. I eventually worked in Beijing for 10 years before starting an international career.    

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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!

@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.



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.

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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

Here’s the thing. You cannot “catch” autism. You’re either autistic or not. What you CAN catch is rubella, measles, diphtheria. At any time you’re exposed to them. Which happens more often when people decide not to vaccinate.


The Hon. Miss Eliza Fisher, hands down. 

Eliza (or Beth as Phryne knew her before) is Phryne’s younger sister. She’s four or five years younger than Phryne and first appears in The Castlemaine Murders

She’s described as being four inches taller than Phryne, large-boned and blonde, with bright blue eyes. She takes after their ‘big, florid father’ rather than Phryne who takes after their 'thin, dark mother’. Later in the book Phryne mentions they also have a younger brother Thos who goes to Eton. A previous book had Phryne referring to her mother and sisters plural back in England, but this one only mentions Eliza and Thos. But that could be explained away in context if their other sister is already married. Anyway, I totally love that Phryne has more siblings in the books, including a younger sister who died of diphtheria in Collingwood one winter, presumably the inspiration for the whole Janey arc in the show.