germ-theory

The really hilarious thing about Frankenstein that modern adaptations almost invariably leave out is that the dude wasn’t even a scientist.

Yeah, there’s that post going around about how he wasn’t really a doctor because he never graduated university, but here’s the thing: he wasn’t even studying science.

The text is explicit on this point: Frankenstein was a student of alchemy, not medicine. He thought he was pretty hot stuff because his alchemist cred impressed folks in the middle-of-nowhere town where he grew up, but then he enrolled in a big city university and everybody laughed at him, not because his ideas where too cutting edge, but because they were absurdly archaic.

Here’s these people literally forging new paths in surgery and germ theory and everything that would become modern medicine, and then here’s this punk kid shooting his mouth off about, like, vital humours and shit. How could they not mock him?

That’s where the whole “I’ll show them - I’ll show them all!” bit comes from.

so, my buddy littledivinity and i have been talking beauty & the beast a lot, because ‘tis the season, and we somehow stumbled upon the idea of the story being told about a middle aged belle and the beast instead of youngins, and how that would make the story even more resonant.

and then just now i randomly thought, “what if nicole kidman and ewan mcgregor starred in such a film?”, because my soul needs nicole kidman and ewan mcgregor to fall in love again on a movie screen like it needs few other things in this life. plus, you know, musical, bright colors, awesomeness, hurrah!

and then i thought, ‘but wait, actually, what i really want in this life, even more than brightly colored musicals, is more lowkey and lovely fairytale movies like exquisite and incomparable 1998 masterpiece ever after

and just picture it!

nicole kidman is the longtime spinster school teacher who lives in a quaint vaguely magical 19th century-esque country village, but she’s a badass teacher who exposes her students to different philosophies of thought and probably takes them outside for nature studies and calisthenics. (so, basically, miss stacy from anne of green gables.) the school board hates her, probably, and is very suspicious of what kind of IDEAS she’s filling the local kids’ heads with (why does she keep saying it’s okay for girls not to want to be wives and mothers, or that it’s all right for boys to cry???? is it possible that she is A WITCH???), but her parents were very well regarded in the town when they were still alive and so that bought her some respect for awhile. but there’s a new fancy schmancy family with school aged kids in town, and they’re extremely disapproving of miss nicole, and trying to find a way to oust her as schoolteacher and replace her with a man who is probably very similar in temperament to mr. collins from pride & prejudice. a man who will put patriarchal gender roles back into childhood education!

meanwhile, ewan mcgregor is a grumpy old hermit duke or something who once had great wealth and privilege but has fallen into disrepair. maybe someone cursed (magically? complicated vengeance-ly, a la the count of monte cristo? who knows) his family long ago due to their shady rich people business dealings, and his father killed himself to escape the scandal and his mother died of heartbreak and his fiancee who he thought loved him steadfastly dumped him to marry another, and now ewan’s the last surviving member of his once-great family and he just lives alone this grand old manor house that has gone totally to seed. he isn’t an actual beast, because it seems like in this day and age that’s going to require levels of CGI that my quaint b&tb retelling movie just don’t need, but let’s say that he’s quite unshaven and dirty and generally off-putting and he sometimes ventures out into the forest that separates his estate from the village, but is never seen actually frequenting the village. there are abundant rumors that the forest and manor house are haunted by a beast/ghost/warlock/vampire (how does he SURVIVE if he doesn’t come to the weekly market for food???), and everyone knows you don’t go there. also, people like to gossip a ton about his family and the scandal even though it was decades ago and they all dead. because people suck.

so one night, some of nicole’s rowdy teen pupils maybe steal some wine from one of their parents’ liquor cabinets and venture into the woods and dare each other to go past the gate of his manor house, and he catches them at it and gets HELLA PISSED @ THESE UPPITY HOOLIGANS INVADING HIS PROPERTY. kids today!!!!!!!!! he probably locks them in the stables so he can deliver them a 5 hour lecture on why they suck, and also why all of humanity sucks. which isn’t the worst fate ever, but, like, he kind of looks like a straight up crazy ax murderer (crazy hair! crazy beard! tattered clothes! definitely hasn’t bathed this month!!!), so there’s some serious panic in the hearts of these kids.

Keep reading

Sit Down and Listen Up, Because We’re Going to Learn About Germ Theory

Before we get onto Germ Theory, it’s important that we understand where people believed that germs came from beforehand:

  • Spontaneous generation: the idea that germs magically appeared whenever something rotted.
  • Specificity: the idea that specific germs caused specific diseases (this is actually correct)
  • Contagionism (is not a noun, but we’ll pretend it is): the idea that infection was spread by infected person or bacteria (so’s this)
  • Anti-contagionism (again is not a noun, but we’ll pretend it is): the idea that epidemics such as cholera, plague, and typhoid were caused when infections interacted with the environment (in other words, anti-contagionists cleaned a hell of a lot)

Now that that’s over, we’ll go on to define Germ Theory: the idea that bacteria, or germs, were the real cause of infection and that it was a biological, not chemical process

Germ Theory was invented (or theorised) by Louis Pasteur, a French doctor, scientist, chemist, and generally awesome dude. He came up with Germ Theory by completely shutting down the theory of spontaneous generation - he did the swan-necked flask experiment, which involved:

  • Putting a nutrient-rich fluid that he (for some ridiculous reason, probably for the sake of drama) called “the infusion” into a swan-necked flask (look it up)
  • Allowing it to sit in the flask

The idea behind it was that any dust or microorganisms would get trapped in the neck of the flask, so if spontaneous generation was correct, the broth would still be infected with bacteria. That did not happen. As the broth did not come into contact with any microorganisms, it did not get infected, but when Pasteur turned the flask upside-down (therefore putting the microorganisms in contact with the broth) germs began to infect the broth and multiplied quickly, disproving spontaneous generation.

And that’s pretty much all you need to know about Germ Theory. For further reading, you could learn about:

  • Spontaneous generation and why people believed in it
  • Florence Nightingale (Anti-contagionists)
  • Robert Koch

Thanks a lot for reading this, and I hope you learned as much as you could about Germ Theory.

5

Representations of, what I think are, the greatest scientific theories of all time.

5) Electromagnetism: the first image shows an electromagnetic wave, with Maxwell’s equation below it. James Maxwell receives most of the credit for the unification of electricity and magnetism, but he relied on the work done by Gauss, Faraday and Ampere.

4) The Pathogenic Theory of Medicine: the image shows pathogens (bacteria) during their reproduction, and the general molecular structure of penicillin; since antibiotics are arguably the most influential consequence of Germ Theory. The theory developed gradually due to the work of many historical physicians. And primarily by the first Microbiologist Anton van Leeuwenhoek, and also Robert Koch who designed the first clear criteria to establish a causal relationship between a microbe and a disease. Alexander Fleming is credited, as well, for discovering Penicillin.

3) The Theory of Relativity: there’s a two-dimensional illustration of a curved three dimensional space-time, due to the presence of mass. The assumption that space-time can be curved comes from General relativity, and is deduced from the equivalence principle. The image also shows a light cone, representing the limit of causality between events, as a consequence of the speed of light limit. Also, I added the main relationship between Energy and Momentum in relativistic mechanics (the relationship from which E=mc^2 can be derived). Albert Einstein receives most of the credit for Relativity theory, though his theory is based on other physicists’ work, most notably Lorentz transformation.

2) The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection: the image shows a drawing of four evolving organisms, which resembles the evolution of amphibians from lobe-finned fish. (I actually evolved the organisms by taking the previous one and changing it slightly while drawing them :D).The image also shows a Phylogenetic tree of a species splitting into two (cladogenisis), and evolving in different branches afterwards. Natural selection was proposed by Charles Darwin. Alfred Russel Wallace is sometimes credited for independently developing a similar theory.

1) Quantum Mechanics: the image represents quantum theory by showing the mathematical formula for Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Schrodinger’s equation, and also a Feynman diagram of beta(-) decay. Quantum theory is arguably the greatest scientific achievement of man-kind. The credit goes to many physicists for founding and improving Quantum Mechanics, most importantly: Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Luise De Broglie, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrodinger, Max Born, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac and Richard Feynman.

anonymous asked:

I have a question about vaccines, well, more about viruses and diseases in general. I have a character that ends up getting trapped back in time (medieval times), and I was wondering how his body would react to being in a whole other time. Would the vaccines he would have gotten in our time as a child and such be of any help when it comes to his body’s immune system dealing with the new time? Or would have the viruses mutated and change so much over all that time that it’d be of no use to him?

Hey there nonny! 

So viruses play the evolutionary game known as “How much can I change each time I copy myself while still being able to copy myself more later?” Basically, they have adapted to a high rate of transcription errors to ensure that when they are copied, they have some form of variability. The cold and influenza viruses are massively good at this. It’s why you keep getting “the cold” over and over: it’s a different strain each time around. 

(There’s actually a drug that works by pushing the transcription error rate to be high enough that the RNA can’t reliably copy itself and the virus literally messes itself up to death. Science is Freaking Neat™ .) 

So viral diseases in general are going to be very different from the things they’ve had in the past, though particularly with bacteria, the “safer” / less murdery strains were around in the past, mostly because we put a lot of evolutionary pressure on bacteria with the (over-)use of antibiotics. 

It’s also… so Bubonic Plague? That thing that wiped out a third of Europe (and lots of other places too)? That’s curable with a good course of antibiotics. 

All of that said, your character has a major advantage over their medieval counterparts. 

They understand germ theory

Look at a medieval person, even a doctor, and tell them that diseases are caused by germs and bacteria and viruses and they will think you have six heads and need to be taken away. They didn’t have the optics power to see the microorganisms, so they didn’t know about them. 

Your character will do better than average simply by washing their hands as frequently as possible and washing their food, and trying to get water from as far up the river (ie before it’s been pooped in) as they can. 

Meanwhile, their neighbors will be convinced that disease is the result of the Evil Eye or of a “miasma” of evil. Doctors might diagnose an imbalance of the humors and bloodlet people. 

This is legitimately what smart people believed and were taught. And some day they’ll say “Holy cow, the 21st century Earthanoids believed and did what?!” in shock and disbelief. 

In any case. Their vaccines may protect them from some of the viruses going around at the time, but they also have the educational advantage that the locals don’t have. 

Best of luck with your story! 

xoxo, Aunt Scripty

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anonymous asked:

WHAT IS THE NEW ENGLAND VAMPIRE PANIC IT SOUNDS AMAZING PLEASE ENLIGHTEN US also i lov gothic lit more than i love anything else so please dear goodness is it in any way related to vampirism in lit / dracula's affect on the general public ANYWAY IT SOUNDS WILDE

OKAY SO HERE WE GO

BUCKLE UP CREAMPUFFS

this is less of a panic actually and more of a sustained belief that the outside world became more aware of all at once so it seemed like a condensed event

belief in vampires was a Thing in much of the world for a really long time, including rural New England (mostly Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont). during the 19th century, tuberculosis was also a very big, very bad Thing as @queenofairandsnarkness pointed out. it’s transmitted through microscopic aerosolized drops of infected saliva when the victim coughs, and highly contagious, especially among families or other people who live in close quarters. in a time when people commonly shared beds for warmth, quarters could be very close. one case usually became an outbreak

a wasting illness that slowly drains the energy and strength from its victims…sound familiar? 

the word “vampire” was seldom if ever used, but stories spread of the consumptive dead- the consumed, I guess you could say -rising and stalking the village. often they were said to prey specifically on their own family members. it’s a bit dicey in these accounts whether the villagers believed the vampires spread the disease or it was a vampire instead of the disease

the body of the suspected vampire would be disinterred and examined. if the hair or nails seemed to have grown (a common misconception with fresh corpses, since the scalp and nail beds draw backand make nails and hair look longer) or the mouth was bloody (decomposition. fluids. enough said), the corpse would be staked in the grave. 

or decapitated 

or have a brick stuffed in its mouth

or all three

overkill was very big in rural 19th century New England. but that wasn’t the most gruesome part. often, the vampire’s organs would be cut out and burned on a gravestone or in a forge. the ashes would then be mixed in water and given to a victim to drink

why they kept doing this cure even though it had literally a 0% success rate is beyond me. maybe everyone knew a “friend’s cousin’s sister” it had worked for. maybe chain emails would have been huge in 1860s Vermont. go figure

anyway, the most famous face of the New England Vampire Panic was Mercy Brown, a 19-year-old girl who died of consumption in 1892. shortly thereafter, her ailing brother claimed that Mercy came and sat on his chest, draining the life from him. the obligatory mob dug up her grave, found her corpse well-preserved, and assumed not that being buried in January in Rhode Island had frozen the corpse but that she was a vampire. they gave her brother her heart to drink. her brother still died. this is my shocked face

the press got ahold of some of these stories and regarded them with a curious mixture of classism and Victorian morbidity. these were country people, after all- superstitious yokels with backward beliefs alien to a new age of enlightenment. (can you feel the extreme sarcasm there) 

never mind that the medicine of the time only accepted germ theory near the end of the century and had no more idea what caused TB than a Connecticut farmer burning his neighbor’s liver on an anvil. people have always loved to feel superior to someone

anyway, as for influence on literature, it’s possible. authors get their information from varied sources; I’m sure any vampire lit that existed at the time was fair game for Stoker to read. it’s been suggested that Lucy Westenra is based on Mercy Brown, but honestly I think she’s too common of an archetype to cite any specific inspiration. other people have argued that there hadn’t been time for the newspaper reports to reach Stoker in England when he wrote the book in 1897. one way or another, I guess you could argue that the NEVP influenced him in the sense that all vampire lore did

H.P. Lovecraft references the exhumation of Mercy Brown in his story “The Shunned House” as does Caitlin Kiernan in “So Runs the World Away.” There are also a few movies that draw inspiration from her story, I believe, but I’m not sure which ones they are.

AND THAT’S THE NEW ENGLAND VAMPIRE PANIC EVERYBODY

here is an excellent article about it

there’s a picture of a protest sign going around that says “got plague? no? Thank a scientist” and like I totally get and support the idea but it’s just wrong

plague stopped being a major public health concern literally centuries before germ theory even existed. the black death didn’t stop killing millions of people annually because of science. it just sort of did (likely because of a mutation to a less virulent and deadly strain, which also happened with smallpox btw).

like we can cure it now because of science. which is awesome, because it’s still endemic in animals in certain areas (for example the western side of lake tahoe) and people still get it, but like, the fact that plague isn’t killing a third of the population ever couple of decades anymore isn’t because of advancements in science.

make the same point more accurately using smallpox. that one is because of science.

A few facts about sex, pregnancy, and childbirth for writers who use historical settings

Note: These facts focus primarily on Christianized American and European culture. Before applying a fact to a culture outside of that sphere, it’d be a good idea to check.

  • Reliable birth control didn’t exist until the late 1800s, but it didn’t become accessible outside of the very wealthy and well-connected until the 1910s in Europe and 1920s in the US (and even later in other parts of the world). These “reliable methods” were all variants of the cervical cup, the ancestor to the diaphragm.
  • Despite the fact the rhythm method/natural family planning requires no technology other than a calendar, it was developed after the cervical cap. The reason is that it took doctors a very long time to figure out that a) women were least fertile during menstruation, b) women ovulated exactly once per menstrual cycle, c) ovulation tends to happen at approximately the same time relative to menstrual periods. The rhythm method was first promoted in 1930 by a Dutch doctor.
  • Along with there not being reliable birth control until recently, safe abortion was nonexistent (unless you count that particular plant in ancient Rome that died out, but I’ll pass that one by). A desperate woman wouldn’t have to look hard to find someone who could perform an abortion, but her chances of surviving weren’t great, and her chances of having another baby afterwards were slim.
  • Because women didn’t have an explanation for how exactly pregnancy started until the 1920s (when two doctors discovered independently that ovulation tends to happen at the same time relative to the menstrual cycle), women generally didn’t know when they’d gotten pregnant or when they were likely to give birth. All the historical medical manuals are extremely vague on pregnancy milestones for this reason. Additionally, many women didn’t consider themselves truly pregnant until the “quickening” around five months. This was due to several factors, inconsistent timing among them, but also because miscarriages were pretty common and other medical conditions (including stress) could cause symptoms that could make a woman think she was pregnant.
  • The vast majority of women over the course of history had no risk of being treated “like an invalid” during pregnancy. Pregnancy was considered a normal, healthy part of a woman’s life, something that would happen many times during her youth and middling years. It wasn’t a time to take it easy; in fact, early medical manuals stress that being active during pregnancy is a good thing that produces healthy, strong babies.
  • Until the 1960s/1970s, labor and delivery was a woman-only zone (with the possible exception of a male doctor). The father would either be outside, at the neighbors’, at the pub…but he would definitely be nowhere near the delivery room during the birth, because he’d just be in the way…probably literally, in most cases, because most women gave birth in their houses, and your average woman–a farmer’s wife, or a craftsman’s wife–wouldn’t have a large room to give birth in. Instead, a woman would expect her friends to come support her, women who’d already survived childbirth, and perhaps her mother if she lived nearby. Having the father attend the birth of his child didn’t become a thing until women started giving birth in hospitals where there’s space for the father to stand (and, arguably, the fact that women were less likely to live near enough for their mothers to be there).
  • Unless a woman was having a doctor attending her birth, she most likely would have given birth in a standing or squatting position, possibly using a birthing stool (a special chair without a seat for the baby to descend through). Lying on one’s back didn’t pop up as a birthing position until doctors became regular attendees to labor, because it mean the doctor wouldn’t have to get on the floor to examine the progress of labor.
  • It wasn’t labor that was the biggest danger to expectant women; it was postpartum infection, better known as “childbed fever” historically. These infections were usually caused by birth attendants having bacteria-ridden hands and tended to kill within two weeks of birth. Doctors knew it was transferred via midwife and doctor even as early as the 1790s, but it wasn’t understood why until germ theory became accepted. It couldn’t be treated until antibiotics were introduced in the 1930s.

The ancient Romans were obsessed with both water and cleanliness. They “brought aqueducts, heated public baths, flushing toilets, sewers and piped water. They even had multiseat public bathrooms decked out with contour toilet seats, a sea sponge version of toilet paper and hand-washing stations.” You might think that this would have helped overall health in this ancient civilization– but not so!

“With all their body oils and bath rituals, [Piers Mitchell, a paleopathologist at the University of Cambridge] says, “they would have smelled clean, but they would have had infectious disease nonetheless.”

Mitchell focused his research on many reports that have tested for disease-causing microbes at Roman sites–– in mummies, fossilized feces, latrines, etc.

“’I thought we’d see a drop in the intestinal parasites that are spread by feces and poor sanitation compared with the Iron Age, when there weren’t any toilets. But, in fact, I didn’t see a drop at all,’ says Mitchell.”

The types of microbes and parasites that frequently cropped up in his research include: whipworm, roundworm, fleas, bedbugs, three varieties of lice, hookworm, pinworm, and and a single-celled parasite that causes dysentery. “Mitchell also posits that the Romans may have spread a humongous tapeworm from northern Europe as they carted their favorite condiment, fermented fish sauce, around the empire.”

Be sure to read more of this NPR story, “Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Us Your Toilets (Without Parasites)” to find out the current hypotheses behind these prevalent Roman microbes.

anonymous asked:

How common was it in regency period to die of catching the cold?

If you look at the official lists of What People Died From back in the day, there are some crazy-ass reasons.

Check out a list of deaths recorded in (American) Boston in 1811, published in the first issue of the New England Journal of Medicine in 1812:

“Cold” isn’t listed as a reason, but any sort of illness or infection could certainly be feared if it developed into something more serious (consider that Fever has its own subcategories, Consumption is one of those Coughing Diseases and took out hundreds of people; and at least one person died of a Sore Throat, but doubly dangerous is Drinking Cold Water, which killed two people.)

Marianne Dashwood is chilled, but her dangerous illness is actually an infection involving a fever. Jane Bennet catches a cold, and as she’s in a strange house by herself, of course it’s nice that Lizzy goes to look after her and comfort her, but there’s never any real concern that Jane might sicken and die. (Mrs. Bennet wouldn’t be half so gleeful about keeping Jane as an inmate at Netherfield if Jane were actually in danger, she’s not that thick, she knows Jane is the daughter with the best shot at charming a rich man.)

They didn’t understand germ theory, and if a person was reasonably hardy to begin with they probably wouldn’t freak out if someone sneezed or felt a little off-colour and had to rest for a few days, and when someone DID die it looks very much like the coroner might be just as likely to say “fuck it” and make up something that seems halfway reasonable. Teething, worms, Sudden Death, Diseases Not Mentioned…you just gotta write down SOMETHING on the death certificate, and there isn’t always a clear answer, apparently.

(”Mortification” is not literally people dying of embarrassment–though we’ve all felt like that’s a real possibility, am I right?–but actually refers to gangrene, which was and continues to be deadly. Heck, my great-uncle died some years ago due to gangrene, in a modern, developed country. It’s a thing. Though now I think I’m going to start saying he died of mortification.)

I mean, like, I have a thing where I do like the idea of Galras acting like cats to some degree but not always… how it’s handled. Like, I don’t think they’d just drop everything to chase a laser pointer because holy shit a red light, their awareness that it is a spot of light and not something they can catch would override the instinct of “i’m gonna get it. It’d still totally be. really distracting though, which is funny until you remember that these are people who have the capacity to make the leap of logic of “where is that light coming from” and get annoyed at you. 

It’s a thing of you have to consider the interplay between instinct and everything else they have going on cognitively, it isn’t like you flip a switch between Human and Cat, it’s more that you have a cat-lizard-person and these traits exist collectively. And for the sake of writing you could totally sneak in some wholesale cat behaviors but it would be things that don’t have their functionality replaced or ruined by the awareness of germ theory and opposable thumbs.

One of my favorite ideas in this category: nonverbal noises. As humans we have our collection of grunts or huffs or laughing and such, and I like to think about the Galra having different ones.

  • You know the “cat activation noise?” how if you walk in a room with a cat that knows you they kind of “mrr?” That, as an informal, distracted kind of greeting, like “hey”.
  • Chuffs. Thematically the Galra do seem to have more in common with big cats/roaring cats compared to smaller ones, I know everybody’s enamored with the idea of Galra purrs, but, consider: chuffs. 
  • And also in that vein: growling and roaring. Pretty uncommon outside of situations where someone is super mad because it’s considered improper and discouraged at least in soldiers, but on the rare occasion someone actually does roar, Galra have a very impressive set of pipes and it’s a sound that you feel in your shoes. 

Okay, but hear me out. Fic idea: That day that Blinky spent in the school library he quickly realized he would find no mention of what he was after, but he decided to use the time to read up on humans. He picked up several books on human illnesses (just in case). He was horrified by germ theory. Such a thing is unknown to trolls as they are unaffected by viruses and bacteria.

Evidence: Blinky doesn’t cover his mouth when he sneezes before he turns into a human because germs are a non-issue. Contrast that with when he meets Barbara right before changing back into a troll. Now he covers his mouth when he sneezes because germs are a thing.

Anyway, one of the kids catches a cold, and Blinky’s like, I GOT THIS!! But he’s still doesn’t quite got this. “It’s ‘Feed a cold; starve a fever,’ but you have both??” Things like that, but he tries so hard!

250 THINGS AN ARCHITECT SHOULD KNOW - MICHAEL SORKIN

1.    The feel of cool marble under bare feet.
2.    How to live in a small room with five strangers for six months.
3.    With the same strangers in a lifeboat for one week.
4.    The modulus of rupture.
5.    The distance a shout carries in the city.
6.    The distance of a whisper.
7.    Everything possible about Hatshepsut’s temple (try not to see it as ‘modernist’ avant la lettre).
8.    The number of people with rent subsidies in New York City.
9.    In your town (include the rich).
10.    The flowering season for azaleas.
11.    The insulating properties of glass.
12.    The history of its production and use.
13.    And of its meaning.
14.    How to lay bricks.
15.    What Victor Hugo really meant by ‘this will kill that.’
16.    The rate at which the seas are rising.
17.    Building information modeling (BIM).
18.    How to unclog a rapidograph.
19.    The Gini coefficient.
20.    A comfortable tread-to-riser ratio for a six-year-old.
21.    In a wheelchair.
22.    The energy embodied in aluminum.
23.    How to turn a corner.
24.    How to design a corner.
25.    How to sit in a corner.
26.    How Antoni Gaudí modeled the Sagrada Família and calculated its structure.
27.    The proportioning system for the Villa Rotonda.
28.    The rate at which that carpet you specified off-gasses.
29.    The relevant sections of the Code of Hammurabi.
30.    The migratory patterns of warblers and other seasonal travellers.
31.    The basics of mud construction.
32.    The direction of prevailing winds.
33.    Hydrology is destiny.
34.    Jane Jacobs in and out.
35.    Something about feng shui.
36.    Something about Vastu Shilpa.
37.    Elementary ergonomics.
38.    The color wheel.
39.    What the client wants.
40.    What the client thinks it wants.
41.    What the client needs.
42.    What the client can afford.
43.    What the planet can afford.
44.    The theoretical bases for modernity and a great deal about its factions and inflections.
45.    What post-Fordism means for the mode of production of building.
46.    Another language.
47.    What the brick really wants.
48.    The difference between Winchester Cathedral and a bicycle shed.
49.    What went wrong in Fatehpur Sikri.
50.    What went wrong in Pruitt-Igoe.
51.    What went wrong with the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
52.    Where the CCTV cameras are.
53.    Why Mies really left Germany.
54.    How people lived in Çatal Hüyük.
55.    The structural properties of tufa.
56.    How to calculate the dimensions of brise-soleil.
57.    The kilowatt costs of photovoltaic cells.
58.    Vitruvius.
59.    Walter Benjamin.
60.    Marshall Berman.
61.    The secrets of the success of Robert Moses.
62.    How the dome on the Duomo in Florence was built.
63.    The reciprocal influences of Chinese and Japanese building.
64.    The cycle of the Ise Shrine.
65.    Entasis.
66.    The history of Soweto.
67.    What it’s like to walk down the Ramblas.
68.    Back-up.
69.    The proper proportions of a gin martini.
70.    Shear and moment.
71.    Shakespeare, etc.
72.    How the crow flies.
73.    The difference between a ghetto and a neighborhood.
74.    How the pyramids were built.
75.    Why.
76.    The pleasures of the suburbs.
77.    The horrors.
78.    The quality of light passing through ice.
79.    The meaninglessness of borders.
80.    The reasons for their tenacity.
81.    The creativity of the ecotone.
82.    The need for freaks.
83.    Accidents must happen.
84.    It is possible to begin designing anywhere.
85.    The smell of concrete after rain.
86.    The angle of the sun at the equinox.
87.    How to ride a bicycle.
88.    The depth of the aquifer beneath you.
89.    The slope of a handicapped ramp.
90.    The wages of construction workers.
91.    Perspective by hand.
92.    Sentence structure.
93.    The pleasure of a spritz at sunset at a table by the Grand Canal.
94.    The thrill of the ride.
95.    Where materials come from.
96.    How to get lost.
97.    The pattern of artificial light at night, seen from space.
98.    What human differences are defensible in practice.
99.    Creation is a patient search.
100.    The debate between Otto Wagner and Camillo Sitte.
101.    The reasons for the split between architecture and engineering.
102.    Many ideas about what constitutes utopia.
103.    The social and formal organization of the villages of the Dogon.
104.    Brutalism, Bowellism, and the Baroque.
105.    How to derive.
106.    Woodshop safety.
107.    A great deal about the Gothic.
108.    The architectural impact of colonialism on the cities of North Africa.
109.    A distaste for imperialism.
110.    The history of Beijing.
111.    Dutch domestic architecture in the 17th century.
112.    Aristotle’s Politics.
113.    His Poetics.
114.    The basics of wattle and daub.
115.    The origins of the balloon frame.
116.    The rate at which copper acquires its patina.
117.    The levels of particulates in the air of Tianjin.
118.    The capacity of white pine trees to sequester carbon.
119.    Where else to sink it.
120.    The fire code.
121.    The seismic code.
122.    The health code.
123.    The Romantics, throughout the arts and philosophy.
124.    How to listen closely.
125.    That there is a big danger in working in a single medium. The logjam you don’t even know you’re stuck in will be broken by a shift in representation.
126.    The exquisite corpse.
127.    Scissors, stone, paper.
128.    Good Bordeaux.
129.    Good beer.
130.    How to escape a maze.
131.    QWERTY.
132.    Fear.
133.    Finding your way around Prague, Fez, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Kyoto, Rio, Mexico, Solo, Benares, Bangkok, Leningrad, Isfahan.
134.    The proper way to behave with interns.
135.    Maya, Revit, Catia, whatever.
136.    The history of big machines, including those that can fly.
137.    How to calculate ecological footprints.
138.    Three good lunch spots within walking distance.
139.    The value of human life.
140.    Who pays.
141.    Who profits.
142.    The Venturi effect.
143.    How people pee.
144.    What to refuse to do, even for the money.
145.    The fine print in the contract.
146.    A smattering of naval architecture.
147.    The idea of too far.
148.    The idea of too close.
149.    Burial practices in a wide range of cultures.
150.    The density needed to support a pharmacy.
151.    The density needed to support a subway.
152.    The effect of the design of your city on food miles for fresh produce.
153.    Lewis Mumford and Patrick Geddes.
154.    Capability Brown, André Le Nôtre, Frederick Law Olmsted, Muso Soseki, Ji Cheng, and Roberto Burle Marx.
155.    Constructivism, in and out.
156.    Sinan.
157.    Squatter settlements via visits and conversations with residents.
158.    The history and techniques of architectural representation across cultures.
159.    Several other artistic media.
160.    A bit of chemistry and physics.
161.    Geodesics.
162.    Geodetics.
163.    Geomorphology.
164.    Geography.
165.    The Law of the Andes.
166.    Cappadocia first-hand.
167.    The importance of the Amazon.
168.    How to patch leaks.
169.    What makes you happy.
170.    The components of a comfortable environment for sleep.
171.    The view from the Acropolis.
172.    The way to Santa Fe.
173.    The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
174.    Where to eat in Brooklyn.
175.    Half as much as a London cabbie.
176.    The Nolli Plan.
177.    The Cerdà Plan.
178.    The Haussmann Plan.
179.    Slope analysis.
180.    Darkroom procedures and Photoshop.
181.    Dawn breaking after a bender.
182.    Styles of genealogy and taxonomy.
183.    Betty Friedan.
184.    Guy Debord.
185.    Ant Farm.
186.    Archigram.
187.    Club Med.
188.    Crepuscule in Dharamshala.
189.    Solid geometry.
190.    Strengths of materials (if only intuitively).
191.    Ha Long Bay.
192.    What’s been accomplished in Medellín.
193.    In Rio.
194.    In Calcutta.
195.    In Curitiba.
196.    In Mumbai.
197.    Who practices? (It is your duty to secure this space for all who want to.)
198.    Why you think architecture does any good.
199.    The depreciation cycle.
200.    What rusts.
201.    Good model-making techniques in wood and cardboard.
202.    How to play a musical instrument.
203.    Which way the wind blows.
204.    The acoustical properties of trees and shrubs.
205.    How to guard a house from floods.
206.    The connection between the Suprematists and Zaha.
207.    The connection between Oscar Niemeyer and Zaha.
208.    Where north (or south) is.
209.    How to give directions, efficiently and courteously.
210.    Stadtluft macht frei.
211.    Underneath the pavement the beach.
212.    Underneath the beach the pavement.
213.    The germ theory of disease.
214.    The importance of vitamin D.
215.    How close is too close.
216.    The capacity of a bioswale to recharge the aquifer.
217.    The draught of ferries.
218.    Bicycle safety and etiquette.
219.    The difference between gabions and riprap.
220.    The acoustic performance of Boston Symphony Hall.
221.    How to open the window.
222.    The diameter of the earth.
223.    The number of gallons of water used in a shower.
224.    The distance at which you can recognize faces.
225.    How and when to bribe public officials (for the greater good).
226.    Concrete finishes.
227.    Brick bonds.
228.    The Housing Question by Friedrich Engels.
229.    The prismatic charms of Greek island towns.
230.    The energy potential of the wind.
231.    The cooling potential of the wind, including the use of chimneys and the stack effect.
232.    Paestum.
233.    Straw-bale building technology.
234.    Rachel Carson.
235.    Freud.
236.    The excellence of Michel de Klerk.
237.    Of Alvar Aalto.
238.    Of Lina Bo Bardi.
239.    The non-pharmacological components of a good club.
240.    Mesa Verde National Park.
241.    Chichen Itza.
242.    Your neighbors.
243.    The dimensions and proper orientation of sports fields.
244.    The remediation capacity of wetlands.
245.    The capacity of wetlands to attenuate storm surges.
246.    How to cut a truly elegant section.
247.    The depths of desire.
248.    The heights of folly.
249.    Low tide.
250.    The Golden and other ratios.

anonymous asked:

So I have a fantasy society with very roughly 1830s technology. I'm fine with that, and I know how their medicine works. The thing is they're in contact with a much more modern society that's convinced them to start trials runs of aseptic technique and anesthesia instead of relying on the will of the gods to keep surgery patients alive. I need to know what can be done without an electrical grid, and what equipment can and can't fit through a five foot diameter magical portal.

This is VERY cool. I like this ask. You get a star.

Originally posted by imnotcoolenough4you

So there are a few ways you could run some anesthesia between worlds.

Things that require no power, ever, except possibly to make:

  • Disposable materials including scalpels
  • Antiseptics
  • Drapes
  • Actual literal doctors to do the training
  • Concepts like germ theory, surgical time-outs, etc.
  • Diagrams, textbooks, charts, journals, data
  • Airway equipment (laryngoscopes, ET tubes, etc.)
  • IV supplies
  • Medications (not those that need refrigerated though)
  • Non-powered beds for positioning

Things that require power but can be run on batteries:

  • Cardiac monitors / defibrillators
  • Ventilators
  • IV Pumps

Things that can power things that require power but can be run on batteries:

  • Batteries

Things that would be nice but require power:

  • Anesthesia machine
  • Powered beds

They’ll want to do surgery in a room with a high window that faces the sun (light is a Big Deal™ during surgery). They’ll also want that room to be clean (and easy-TO-clean), equipment for washing hands, and more.

Also remember that it’s not just tools and technology that your advanced society brings with them. Surgical techniques have improved A LOT. They’ll have a great deal to teach.

Just don’t forget that this kind of thing can breed some significant arrogance in the more modern side, too, and not everyone is willing to meet people where they are. I can see a HUGE fight going on over something as simple as handwashing.

Best of luck withy our story!!

xoxo, Aunt Scripty

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Character Headcanons: Head Colds

Because a lot of my friends seem to be sick lately. Have some DAI-themed sympathy.

For purposes of this headcanon, I am assuming that head colds exist in Thedas, that magic and potions can alleviate symptoms but not cure them outright, and that, while people don’t have a full-fledged germ theory they are aware of contagion and contamination as contributing factors to disease outbreak.

To the surprise of some members of the Inquisition, Blackwall is extremely reasonable about colds. While he’s still functional, he’ll power through, but once he’s fuzzy-brained or short-breathed enough that he’s no longer operating at peak performance he’ll remove himself from the situation. His favorite cold cure is a particularly nasty Fereldan whisky in hot water with honey and Rivaini lemon, although as far south as they are, usually all the lemon he can get his hands on is dried. (Sometimes Cole will come to visit him and then, as if by magic, there will be fresh slices of lemon instead of dried in his toddy.)

Cassandra is the worst illness patient ever. She considers herself not to have the time nor the patience for colds… and the fact that she nevertheless contracts them from time to time doesn’t disabuse her of this. It is sadly clear that being sick offends her dignity, and so she denies it for as long as possible. She persists in attempting to go about her duties as normal even with the cold, and sulks when someone finally sends her to bed, and then she’s crabby about it. Her favorite cold cure–once she has finally admitted to being ill at all–is chicken soup spiked with vinegar, with a side of trashy romance novels. (When she is feverish and tired and crabby, Cole will come and read to her. Or… not so much read: he holds the book, thumbs the pages, but the words he’s speaking are reflected out of her head, her memory of the book she wishes most to have read to her at that moment.)

Having spent so much time in various Circles, Cullen knows just how fast disease can spread in an isolated location. (While it is certainly not the most traumatic thing that happened at the Kirkwall Circle, Cullen still vividly remembers the Great Gallows Stomach Bug Incident of 9:35 Dragon.) So at the first feverish morning or sign of a sniffle, he is meticulous about isolating himself from the healthy: keeping at least a desk’s-width between them at first, and when the illness finally manifests in full, wrapping himself in blankets in his room and not coming out. His favorite cold cure is elfroot tea with plenty of honey. (When he is on his third day of self-imposed isolation and is bored and lonely out of his mind, Cole comes to visit, bringing nigh-incomprehensible scraps of gossip from around Skyhold.)

Dorian’s coping mechanism for illness is to be at least as annoying to the people around him as the cold is annoying to him. Suffering in silence is not in his nature–or, rather, it is, but only for serious issues. The trivial ones, he will complain about loud and long, and get some measure of satisfaction out of the snorts and eyerolls it inspires. Dorian swears by a particular herbal brew–a trade secret from a particular potion shop in Tevinter, that must be imported at considerable cost–made from sixteen special herbs and spices, bitter as the Maker’s wrath and cloying as Andraste’s smile. He magnanimously offers it to his suffering fellows, but none of them trust the stinking herbaceous brew. (When Dorian is feverish and uncomfortable enough that even complaining can’t make him feel better, there will be cool hands on his brow, though he won’t easily remember that it is Cole responsible.)

Qunari are nothing if not pragmatic, including about illness. Iron Bull prides himself on being tough, but he has no qualms about taking himself off to bed as soon as an illness takes effect. “The sooner you start taking care of yourself, the faster it runs its course–you can’t fight Vints and a sickness at the same time, that’s like taking on one enemy when another’s already flanking you.“ (He’s often the one most vociferously attempting to send a sniffling Cassandra off to bed–not that she listens.) His favorite thing when he’s sick is a drink made from the juice of bitter oranges, with or without a shot of strong spirits. (Once Bull is asleep, and only then, Cole slips in and hums the same songs the Tamassrans used to sing to him, until the wrinkles ease on his sleeping brow.)

Josephine much dislikes the inconvenience of illness, almost more than the discomfort itself. She has a vast collection of dainty handkerchiefs–embroidered, lace-trimmed, so pure and pristine a white that they look out of place in such a ramshackle location as Skyhold–and goes through them at a rapid pace while insisting that she is quite all right, don’t mind me, please forgive me for not shaking your hand–it is just a little thing, but I would not wish to give it to you!  When she is finally forced to hole up in her room under her counterpane, she drinks a lemon honey tea with a heaping spoonful of crushed garlic (and takes care not to breathe on anyone; it is more pungent, in its way, than Dorian’s Tevinter medicine–although Josephine would tell you that it is the offensive strength of the garlic that makes it so effective), and still brings all of her scrolls and letters to bed with her so she can at least keep up on her correspondence. (Cole slips the half-read letter from her hand, caps her inkwell and sets it aside, and pulls the blanket up over her.)

For Leliana, a cold is not as much inconvenience as it is for many others. She does not often travel, and she can continue to write letters and send out agents even when quite ill–but that doesn’t mean she has to like it. As far as anyone outside Skyhold knows, the Nightingale of the Inquisition is never indisposed. Within Skyhold, people know to keep out of her way when she’s looking red-eyed and unusually murderous. When her head is congested, Leliana craves a basin of hot water filled with dried lavender blossoms; she tents a towel over her head and breathes the steam, lets it draw away both illness and tension. (When Leliana is sick, Cole slips not only honey but also steeped thyme into her wine. Sweet and sharp to clear both her head and her heart.)

When Sera gets sick, she’s no stoic about it: she bitches and moans from moment one all the way through when the cold has run her course. But she doesn’t let it stop her–as she will tell you with a snort, normal people don’t get to just stop doing stuff when they’re ill, not if they want to keep eating. It takes one of her friends ordering her to bed to get her the rest she needs. At whatever stage of her illness, she swears by an old peasant remedy: mugs of stout, to shore you up (and with enough mugs, to make you forget how bad you feel). (Cole never lets Sera know he’s there–he knows that he upsets her–but he makes sure that the tavern waitress knows to bring her ale when she wants it, and he piles up the blankets at night since she insists on keeping the windows open.)

It is rare that Solas falls ill, and when he does, he treats himself with tinctures and potions of his own, of a startling efficacy. (He is not stingy with them, but for some reason they never seem to be quite as effective on others.) Quite often his companions aren’t even aware that he was sick to begin with. More often than not he uses it as an excuse to contemplate the mysteries of the Fade: how sickness and spirits interact, whether a Spirit of Illness could be convinced to work on your behalf rather than against you. (Cole sits on the table next to his bedside, elbows on knees, and listens, listens, listens with infinite patience. That is more important to Solas than tea or soup: being listened to.)

Varric is almost as crabby about becoming ill as Cassandra, although he hides it better–or perhaps differently. While Cassandra is in snappish denial about it, Varric makes increasingly-bitter jokes about the rotten timing of this cold or the discomfort of that cough. Dwarves don’t fall sick very often, and Varric seems to treat it as a personal affront whenever he does–and as with all personal affronts, he faces it with snarly humor. His preferred method of treatment is a camphor salve to clear his sinuses (an Orzammaran dwarf treatment, but one his parents brought with them to the surface) and a shot of strong liquor to dull him to the tedium of sickness. He eats soup, too,  but only under the steely eye of one of his friends. (Cole’s eyes are never steely, but he provides the soup nonetheless, and sits by Varric’s bedside listening to him complain as he eats it–feeling the strange way Varric’s mood lifts even as his complaints become more and more poisonous.)

It is a sure thing that Vivienne is far too dignified to ever have a stuffy nose or a cough or a fever. Vivienne is purity and perfection, too far above mere mortals to ever catch their diseases. …At least, so she would prefer people believe. So at the first sign of any disease, she shuts herself up; she could not possibly honk noisily into a handkerchief, darling, that’s absolutely common. She continues her work via correspondence, borrowing Leliana’s messenger-birds without leaving her rooms. Her preferred remedy is a strong Orlesian herbal soup, which she drinks by the bucketful while holding a handkerchief to her nose and plotting refined vengeance on the world in general and illnesses in particular. (Cole ensures that her pot of soup–kept warm over an array of tallow candles–does not run short, refreshing it with potent herbs and soothing broth at regular intervals.)

Cole doesn’t get sick–at least, not at first. For Cole, sickness is something that happens to other people. And, somewhat guiltily… he rather likes it. Sickness is a straightforward hurt, and it is not usually difficult to find out what someone needs to soothe it, whether it’s lemons for Blackwall or lavender for Leliana or a fresh set of handkerchiefs for Josephine. And it is a hurt that almost always runs its course, leaving its sufferer better in the end. It is nice, after so many tangled-tormented-thoughtbound-tremulous pains, to see a pain that he can soothe so easily with a cool hand or a warm cup of tea. 

If and when he becomes human enough to catch a cold, Cole finds the tables turned. There is Cassandra reading at his bedside, Varric pouring him a mug of soup, Blackwall with whisky and lemon, Leliana leaving branches of lavender by his bedside, Bull with juice and spirits. Spirits for a spirit–but not all spirit, not all, not anymore, human enough to be sick, human enough to be cared for.

anonymous asked:

realistically, how many of the jane austen protagonists would have died in pregnancy (or soon after their marriages)? I'm not sure what the dangers of the time period were, esp since they're upperclass women, but it makes me wonder how many of marriages would last

Being able to afford a ‘higher’ standard of medical care in the time is a bit of a crapshoot, as some of the standard medical practices of the day seem like bizarre superstitious nonsense according to our modern understandings of anatomy and pathology on a microscopic level. So would a poor country midwife who has attended a thousand births be more or less likely to help in a difficult labour than a city doctor trained up in all the most ‘modern’ uses of leeching or forceps or whatever? Every case would be different, and there’s so many things that can go wrong with the pregnant person and child, even in the present-day. I mean, statistically, consensus is that even today, getting pregnant is the most medically-risky thing anyone can do. (Oldest extreme sport: propagation of the species!)

I think people’s chances at survival in those times largely depended on how healthy or strong you were to begin with, because without penicillin or a basic understanding of germ theory/sanitation, you’re kind of screwed if a speck of dirt gets into an open wound.

Access to better nutrition and all would possibly put Austen heroines in better positions to survive the rigors of childbirth, but frankly the greatest risks would have been uncontrollable bleeds or infections contracted after delivery. I recall reading somewhere that prior to modern medical care, the average length of a marriage was 10-15 years–but then of course you get people dying at all ages from all sorts of things, so it’s not to say it’s definitive, so much as a guideline. And certainly some would have died young, due to illness or childbirth risks, less than a few years after marrying. Likewise there’d be those who live well into their golden years and just keep going forever and have fifteen healthy kids like it’s nothing.

Honestly if people are gonna write sequels, I’d say to be fair things could go either way. Of course as they’re fictional people and these characters are dear to us, we want them to thrive and be happy and healthy, but if we’re going to go with statistical likelihoods, there should be SOME health issues for the protagonists as they age and as they carry/give birth to children. Children themselves who may or may not live much beyond the age of five.

We know that Jane Fairfax died very young, even though she is a side-character, and there is also some relief that Mrs. Weston makes it through her first pregnancy safely, as she’s of a somewhat more advanced age for a primigravida. The facts of life and the dangers married women faced were clearly in the back of Austen’s mind at all times; but given that her novels end with the protagonists’ unions, we can’t know for certain what became of them as wives and mothers…and perhaps given the grim realities Austen would have been all too aware of in the premature losses of her friends and close relatives, perhaps she is being charitable in drawing the curtain over the rest of married life for these beloved characters who have found their domestic happiness in varying degrees, at last. It’s kinder if we do not know.

Stolen Children: the parallels between faeries and The Autism

(Disclaimer: this is more of a ramble than an essay, and is based on personal observations rather than any solid academic foundation)

(Secondary, more important disclaimer: I’m discussing perceptions of conditions here, not the conditions themselves. Hence the rather tongue-in-cheek use of The Autism, to distinguish the perceived condition peddled by Autism Speaks and the like from the actual condition)

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