Epidemic remedies to blow your mind
"Remembering the stories of epidemics past has led the Auckland Medical Museum Trust to each day post stories on social media under the tag Epidemics Aotearoa," writes Margaret Horsburgh. "These are some of the more interesting remedies for the 1918 influenza epidemic."
1. Mulled (heated ) beer.
2. Adding sulphur to an open fire and inhaling the fumes.
3. Camphor bags worn around one's neck — particularly recommended for children.
4. Whiskey and lemon juice. Apparently lemons were in short supply — not so for whiskey.
5. Four drops of kerosene on a teaspoon of sugar. Swallow and soon the kerosene will permeate the individual's sweat.
6. Nose bleeds (how this should be induced is unclear).
( Margaret Horsburgh from the Auckland Medical Museum Trust )
Translation is very un-PC
Peter writes: "Further to your item about French words, readers may find it interesting that the French word 'ordinateur' was coined because 'computer' sounds very, very rude to a French ear. The first syllable sounds like a slang word for 'idiot' and the second a violently derogatory term applied (by men) to female sex workers or, more commonly, to women they don't approve of (the English equivalents rhyme with 'score' or 'smut'). 'Pute' and its cousin 'putain' are also all-purpose imprecations, equivalent to an English word that rhymes with 'duck'. Oddly, the Spanish word 'computadora' contains the exact Spanish equivalent of that rude word."
I have been good during lockdown, as evidenced by the highlights of places I visited sent to me by the Google Maps app.
Band names on the run
"How to ruin a band's name with one extra letter," tweets @Robert Popper. "I'll start: SS Club 7" ... Best replies include: Kings of Lemon, FU2, Nine Inch Snails, Couldplay, Linkedin Park, Proxy Music, The Food Fighters, Adam and the Aunts, Earth, Wind and Fibre ... and Foreigners — Coming over here, wanting to know what love is."