Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Enticing The Tapeworm

by Izzy Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:23:17 AM EST

Folklore has it that if you have a tapeworm, you can entice it out with a bowl of warm milk.  This is one of those things almost everybody has heard, but no one knows where it came from.  The origins are presumably lost in a misty past.  Or a wormy past.  Definitely a past in which the tapeworm figured large.

Anyway, there are two schools of thought... well, thought isn't exactly the right word in this discussion... let's say factions.  There are two factions in the warm milk theory of enticing a tapeworm -- whether or not to place the milk in front of your mouth, or behind your... well, your behind.  

In either case, the thought that someone would welcome a worm crawling out of either orifice just goes to show the lengths people are willing to go to when they're sick and just want to feel the hell better.

Not that tapeworm is a big problem here, currently, but with millions of folks in the US without health insurance, I figured there'd be more of this kind of 'wisdom' being passed around and, having some experience in the folk remedy arena, decided I'd write this handy guide to curing what ails you, without benefit of a doctor.


Sadly, in researching this post, I found a dearth of reliable sources willing to go on the record about how to doctor yourself at home.  This was, perhaps, to be expected, since the reliable sources in this field are doctors and other sciencey, medical-establishment types.  But they are most definitive in stating what doesn't work.  In fact, they've helpfully provided a top-five worst home remedies list.

These are ear-candling;  whiskey for teething babies;  butter on burns, colloidal silver;  and colon cleansing.  These are to be avoided at all costs.  I've experienced three of them and pretty much agree, except for the whiskey thing.  I mean, sure, there's a so-called expert quoted as saying "First of all, children shouldn't be consuming alcohol."  Which, on it's face, seems reasonable enough, but would he say the same thing if trapped in a room with a screaming, teething baby?  And how's he defining 'consuming' here anyway?

Speaking as both a parent and someone raised with no health-insurance by old Scottish women whose home remedies ALL involved whiskey, I'm loathe to take a strong stand on this one.  I mean, sure, I had a wildly misspent youth, but there's no definitive proof that a steady diet of whiskey cures throughout childhood had anything to do with my early career as an out-of-control punk.  Plus, as a mother myself, I know there are situations that occur during the child-rearing process where one of the parties needs a bracing shot.  Not that I'm advocating getting your baby drunk, I'm just sayin'... a handy bottle of whiskey isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Oh, and it probably doesn't need disclaiming, but for legal purposes of this post:  I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  Obviously.

That said, I can state with authority that antibiotics work.  I know, I know -- you think you need a prescription, which can't be obtained without going to the doctor.  This is not entirely correct.  I once cured a quite hideous, swift, and painful infection of the gums with antibiotics made for aquariums, bought quite cheaply at a local pet store.  The dosing can be a bit tricky, given that humans don't measure their weight in gallons, but with some basic math skills it can be worked out.  My infection was cured practically overnight, and I only have a couple of very small holes left in my gums.

Frankly, the other online advice isn't nearly as practical as my fish-tank antibiotics thing.  People seem to only want to go out on a limb about minor things like bee stings and mildly upset stomachs, which, let's face it, most people don't bother a doctor about anyway.  Still, this site had some handy advice and I think that next time I have a sprain, I'm going to try the warm water and potato thing listed in the remedies for minor bruises, sprains, bangs and pains:

Many people suggest adding a grated onion and potato to a bowl of warm water for soaking your sore hand or foot. Pro athletes use the potato trick to relive minor swelling and soreness of injured fingers. Simply cut a large enough hole in the potato, plunge in your sore digit, and watch the starch in the potato do the trick.

And perhaps I'll also try flailing my arms around to cure a headache, but only if no one's looking.

There's a more complete list here, but it seems a bit overly broad to me.  I mean, for tooth grinding alone, they recommend calcium and/or vitamins and/or having your stool tested for parasites and/or yoga.  Still, one never knows what unearthed gems await in a website that advises "After showering use a blow-dryer set on cool to dry your vagina."  That advice, of course, was for something else, not the teeth-grinding problem.

But there's just no real advice out there for real do-it-yourself healthcare.  I tried googling home surgery.  Nothing but horror stories.  There's a mole I want rid of and, back when I had access to healthcare, a doctor once removed one just like it with a razor blade.  So I admit I've been tempted, but without the numbing agent, would ice be enough?  I need answers.  

I did find this site where you can order your own home surgery kits, plus the "Emergency War Surgery" book for instructions in 'no doctor' situations.  I realize the unlikelihood of a step by step guide to mole removal in battlefield conditions, but perhaps there's basic numbing advice.  Or at least something about stemming inadvertent profuse bleeding.

In any case, further investigation seems called for in these troubled times.  Still, I'm looking forward to the day when we can all go to an actual doctor here in these United States.  In the meanwhile, I suppose it couldn't hurt to place some bowls of warm milk on the Capitol steps and see what crawls out.  As folklore has it:  have a hammer ready.

Display:
And please do add your own home-remedy experiences!  You never know what lurkers might benefit.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:24:34 AM EST
I have it on good authority (an Oxford medical student, no less) that you can get rid of a tapeworm using a package of Hobnobs and a hammer. I will spare you the details, but it involves making the worm addicted to the 'nobs. You can imagine the rest.

You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 12:48:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, see?  This is exactly the type of "real world" information I was seeking!  And I think it requires more info - would this work with any cookie/biscuit?  or only hobnobs?

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:32:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I know in older versions, it was an apple and a buiscuit, so maybe modern tapeworms have become more refined in their tastes.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:39:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What way of administration for the apple? No, don't tell me...

You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 06:38:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Suffice it to say, both should be administered against the flow daily for a month, on the last day, miss out the biscuit and hit it with the hammer when it comes out to complain at its lack.

Efficacy is said to be improved by making it a chocolate buscuit.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:12:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you in Salop?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:17:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Neigh lad, im in Northants.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:26:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aaaah...skype address lists many of your ilk.


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:27:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dont own any, Ilk, or moose or anything similar.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:32:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
although I am on skype

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:37:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
give us your monicker, Monica!

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
mr_ceebs1

(remembering back to the height of the Lewinsky crisis, A BBC reporter said "And where is Monica Lewinsky now? keeping her head down and hoping it all blows over")

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:46:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're not talking a whole Hobnob, are we?

(goes a bit white)

by Sassafras on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 03:52:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Certainly, a malnourished tapeworm is a thing to fear.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 04:24:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My ex told the story of coming back from the South of France with one, and wondering why no matter how much she ate she didn't put on weight.

She was eventually diagnosed and the monster purged, and it resides to this day at Teesside Hospital in a sizable jar of formalin.

A veritable King of Tapeworms weighing in at several kilograms - definitely deserving of a Best In Show (or even Best of Breed) rosette.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 at 09:34:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I understand it, yes, a whole Hobnob, straight from the package and without the benefit of a local anesthetic. I would venture, as a personal note, that it would be humane, and uplifting, to have an assistant read aloud from Seneca during the procedure:
I will not escape by death from disease so long as it may be healed, and leaves my mind unimpaired. I will not raise my hand against myself on account of pain, for so to die is to be conquered.


You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 05:48:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Bonn they say that beer is good for a cold. Perhaps Helen agrees.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:56:28 AM EST
You know what else is good for a cold?  Opiates.  But the side-effects are a real bitch.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 04:25:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well according to Freud, the best way to deal with those side effects is with Cocaine.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:17:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was rather underwhelmed/annoyed by the supposedly fun effects of coke the one time I tried it, but I have to say, it's a pretty amazing decongestant.
by MarekNYC on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 01:21:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of the available chemicals, I must admit it was probably the most spectacularly disappointing.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 02:53:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, alcohol reduces temperatures and a raised temp is part of the body's way of fighting a virus (which is adapted for body temp).

So drinking booze actually undermines the body's ability to fight back.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 05:25:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The homeopathic "Zicam" works for my colds.  I never leave home without it.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:40:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Physically, there is no reason that distilled water should work better than (clean) tap water.

So you can save yourself some cash by simply taking a jug of tap water (and boiling it, if you don't trust your waterworks to provide clean water).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 03:15:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are right, it is expensive for an OTC, and maybe it's just a mental cure. However, Zicam stops my colds from developing beyond very minor symptoms and it has worked every time I've used it.

I use the oral application methods.  The nasal ones have been implicated in causing loss of smell in some users. One has to weigh the risks, as when using illegal drugs.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 11:48:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it Feed a Cold and Starve a Fever, or the other way around, or both?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 04:19:53 AM EST
I've heard it's not good to starve either one - eat as much as you can hold down, is my motto.  Perhaps that's not a good motto with the beer and whiskey cures, though.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 04:23:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conversely, with a regular flow of whisky, one is rarely sick.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:18:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A bit of veterinary advice culled from James Herriot: sleep is the best cure for many ailments, allowing the body to naturally repel, rebuild and recover. Anything that makes sleeping easier will help in these processes.

Teenagers' bodies undergo massive changes - little wonder they resort to sleep. Srsly ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 05:20:23 AM EST
An excellent point, Sven, and one I'm in complete agreement with -- I'm a huge fan of sleeping!  Unfortunately, it leads to waking up.  I'm not a big fan of that part.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 06:07:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus, sunlight. Get out from behind your computer screens!

(or if you have to, take your laptop to the park)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 06:22:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And not to forget proper breathing. It is amazing how many people do not breath properly. It is often forgotten that the lungs are not only to take in O2, but for detox of CO2.

Then some breathing exercises can boost the immune system. Of course best done in Nanne's park. :-)

by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 06:48:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know how to sleep (I think) and get sunlight. How do I find out how to breathe? Is there a simple website on this?

In terms of prevention one should eat well, too, of course. And exercise from time to time, and so on. Not to be too bland, you can too exercise when you have a cold!

Personal Best - Have a Cold? There's No Reason to Skip a Workout, Studies Show - NYTimes.com

The investigators found no difference in symptoms between the group that exercised and the one that rested. And there was no difference in the time it took to recover from the colds. But when the exercisers assessed their symptoms, Dr. Kaminsky said, "people said they felt O.K. and, in some cases, they actually felt better."

Now, Dr. Kaminsky said, he and others at Ball State encourage people to exercise when they have colds, at least if they have the type producing symptoms like runny noses and sneezing. He is more cautious about other types of colds that produce fevers or symptoms below the neck such as chest congestion. Exercising with a head cold is not an issue for athletes, Dr. Kaminsky said, because most of them want to train no matter what. "If anything they tend to push too much," he said.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 07:00:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
then everyone else at the gym gets the cold.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:16:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Get someone to stand behind you and lean down on your shoulders, stop them from moving. then feel your chest move outwards and your diaphragm drop, if you go back to breathing with your shoulders youll find you breath in and out with much smaller breaths.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:23:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
??? - is that how you breath normally?
by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:30:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
people who tend not to breath properly tend to breath by lifting their shoulders, you need to breath with your belly to breath properly.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 11:39:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, I was not sure if you mend that. I also teach people to breath in the belly or abdomen. :-)
by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 11:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess I do breathe too little through the abdomen, though I do not breathe so much by lifting my shoulders as by expanding my chest.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 04:22:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
expanding the chest is the first stage in breathing,  you should feel your chest expanding then stop, and the  breath continuing as your diaphragm shrinks. If you're breathing by expanding your chest upwards rather than outwards, and so lifting your shoulders, the diaphragm part of the breath will add very little to your lung volume.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 04:28:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I am a little late, had to seach for the sketches.

My approach is a little different from ceebs - but I guess both work.

I teach to bring the awareness to the abdomen, just observing the movement enhances breathing more deeply.

the first one is exhalation, where you should feel the abdominal muscles move in (feel with you hand)

this is inhalation and you should feel your hand move out.

A good way to get the feeling for belly breathing is to lie on the floor on your stomach and just let the breath flow as deeply as you can, you will feel how you abdominal area opens up and it is very relaxing.

by Fran on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 04:46:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I find the easiest way to find out is to sit upright, then put one hand on your chest and the other just below your belly-button. Then breath as you always do, observe which hand moves or which hand moves more? Donot try to breath deeply or slower or different, just normaly.

okay, do that now! :-)

Then, observe when does you lower hand move, if it does move, when you inhale or when you exhale?

Do that now too! I will give the rest of the information later one.

by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:26:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you know the old saying - breath from your hoo-hoo.  I have no advice for those who don't have a hoo-hoo.
by Maryb2004 on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:53:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maryb2004:
breath from your hoo-hoo

What's a hoo-hoo?

by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:55:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
lol.  It's a little kids' euphamism for vagina.  

This saying came from a Kristin Chenoweth interview on Ellen Degeneres in 2006 - it occurs at about 4:50.  She was trying to teach Ellen how to sing opera.

Which led to a famous song in Ellen the Musical.  Which for some reason this site won't let me embed.  

by Maryb2004 on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 11:04:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
lol and thanks.
by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 11:31:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I walked into a new dorm room in Queenstown, NZ one day to two girls conducting the ear candle business. I looked at them and said "what the f are you doing to her?"

I really hope I never walk into a dorm room with a home tapeworm removal underway.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 07:13:15 AM EST
I've tried ear candling.  As an adult no less.  In fact, there was a whole ear candling session at my house one day because, as various friends and neighbors popped in, I convinced them to try it, too, feeling the need for a broader sample.  In any case, none of us were impressed with the results.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:45:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tried them too and found them wanting in their effect.
by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:52:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you're choking, or see someone choking, just put your two hands on the inside of your knees / that person's knees.

I know it may sound strange, but I've seen it work so many times now that I can only recommend it. It's from Jun Shitsu.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:30:33 AM EST
This has got to be the most unsexy diary I have read in a long time - and it deserves a rec for that alone!

The Republicans have justified their opposition to Obama's stimulus plan on the grounds that:
Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community

"We have fundamental philosophical differences. We're in an era of unfunded liabilities," said John Culberson , R-Texas. "This stimulus is really a Trojan horse. It's part of a plan that would turn the United States into France."

Seems to me that turning the US into France wouldn't be such a bad idea even if it only meant a decent health care system as of right rather than as of privilege.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:02:41 AM EST
... paid vacation (indeed, for many US workers, the horrors of ANY paid vacation ... I got two weeks off for Christmas, because there were no classes ... but the teaching is pay to play).

And never forget the dangers of being forced to eat cheese.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:10:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Freedom fries forever!

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 12:27:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
4 weeks? Make that 5, at the very last. (Right now, I have 66 days of unused vacation to take)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:43:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you just keep adding them up? or is there a maximum amount of time you can carry it over?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are different type of vacations ; the "RTT" which comes from worktime reduction, and can't be carried over usually, and the ordinary congés payés, which are at least 5 weeks for everyone, and can be carried over ; after a time, if you accumulate too many, the company will force you to take them as they are counted as a debt for the employer.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 12:14:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, that's your Yurpean practice of getting to take weekends for free.

Actually, the practice pretty much all across the civilized world ... tell Ozzies they have to take vacation days for days they do not have to work, and there would be plenty of aggro in that workplace.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 01:17:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you need modern healthcare! I admit, that aquarium thing scared me, but since you're still upright, breathing, and writing. . . .

I think the flailing arms thing is worth a go, but you should tape and post it on YouTube, which I hear is the real secret of the cure. Be noisy, please. I'll be waiting.

To lower your blood pressure (I do this all the time), rub your eyes gently. It works, and doesn't require calculating dosages of some unknown, possibly impure, contaminated algicide.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:06:02 AM EST
Also, for lowering blood pressure, turn off the news on the TeeVee for a while...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 12:05:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I admit, that aquarium thing scared me, but since you're still upright, breathing, and writing. . . .

Well, semi-upright and breathing, the jury's still out on whether or not this is 'writing'...

The aquarium pills were tetracycline, same as they give people.  Handy for infections and ick.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 06:25:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And why, precisely, are pet stores selling human antibiotics? Heck, why are pet stores selling antibiotics at all? That sounds like a really good way to create resistant strains.

Something you can get cheaply in pet stores, however, is de-lousing agents. They contain the same active substances as the stuff you get in the pharmacy, but they're not half as expensive. They probably don't go through quite the same degree of purity checks, but they're only supposed to be applied to the outside of your body (and not for any extended period of time), and they're supposed to be toxic as hell, so as long as they're not dumping lead or dioxin or something like that in them, I don't think there oughta be a problem.

Also, for many diseases that are tractable to antibiotics, you are not really cured when you start feeling better. You'll want to keep taking the antibiotics for as long as the prescription says, in the ways the prescription says. Otherwise, you risk developing resistant bacteria, which is A Really Bad Thing to do...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 03:28:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And why, precisely, are pet stores selling human antibiotics? Heck, why are pet stores selling antibiotics at all? That sounds like a really good way to create resistant strains.

Well, presumably for the same reason that vets administer antibiotics to pets -- people love their pets and don't want them to die.  The same applies to fish owners, who can't lug aquariums to the vet.  Tetracycline cures ick, a common fish disease.  And if one fish gets it, they usually all do, so you treat the whole tank.

Thanks for adding the bit about the length of time - I did that and seem none the worse for wear, lo these 30 or so years later.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 04:16:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I don't think that antibiotics should be available over-the-counter. Full stop. There's a very good reason that they're prescription drugs for humans, and that reason applies even more strongly to animal use. People used to die from lung infections. A lot. If we keep spreading around antibiotics like candy in a kindergarten, people might start dying from lung infections again in the not so far future (as in "people in first-world countries," because third-world countries have been fucked over so badly that people there are still dying from diseases that by all right ought to be trivial - but that's a slightly different story).

In point of fact, there are already several multi-resistant TB strains running around - a couple of them can be treated only with some seriously nasty antibiotics that have unpleasant side effects.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 04:40:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are antibiotics available OTC in the US? I got the impression that they were, but maybe I'm mistaken.

In this part of the world, antibiotics for fish require a prescription from a vet, as far as I know.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 04:43:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably they are, because the trick was presented as a way to do an end-run around an expensive doctor's visit. And I assume that getting a vet to fill out a prescription isn't any cheaper.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 05:24:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But ick isn't bacterial - it's parasitical and generally caused by stress in the tank.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 04:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, fine.  It's for fin rot or something, but Ick sounds better and sprang to mind.  Maybe some warm milk in the tank for Ick...

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 05:00:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A stiff whiskey.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 05:02:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean, sure, there's a so-called expert quoted as saying "First of all, children shouldn't be consuming alcohol."  Which, on it's face, seems reasonable enough, but would he say the same thing if trapped in a room with a screaming, teething baby?

  1. Whiskey/alcohol for teething babies -- first time I hear of this. (And I am the uncle of a baby teething now.) Strange custom you have there.

  2. The article goes on to say:

"The best thing you can possibly do is to chill a teething toy in the freezer and give it to the child," says Alexander. "The cooling effect on the gum will both soothe and numb it."

Or, if the child is old enough, use a sugarless ice pop, with adult supervision.

3) I was sufficiently intrigued to ask around in my family. Turns out that the home remedy advice passed down from my home-remedy-trusting grandmother is simly: give the child something to chew on, nuts or dry cake or peanuts.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 12:42:34 PM EST
(BTW, first time I heard about colloidal silver and colon cleaning, too. Insane.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 12:46:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no opinion on the collodial silver, but know a few people who swear on it. However, the colon cleanse can be very helpful if done properly, especially for people who suffer from bloating and constipation.
by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 12:55:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Silver is poisonous. People who swear on it are simply irresponsible.

On colon cleansing; from the description, it seems it is suggested as a regular remedy against a fictional danger (all the toxins in there -- when, sorry for the language, shitting is nothing but the body's toxin removal mechanism). Against an actual ailment like constipation, I wouldn't disagree. On the other hand, the article says:

Trying to cleanse your colon from the comforts of your home can disrupt your body's electrolyte balance, causing dehydration and salt depletion. Over time, frequent colon cleansing can even lead to anemia, malnutrition, and heart failure.

Instead of cleaning your colon on your own, start by increasing your fiber intake by eating more fruits and vegetables, or by adding a supplement to your diet -- 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women 50 and younger -- every day.

...so, would an increased fiber intake not be a better remedy even in the case of bloating and constipation?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 01:05:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A colon cleanse usually is done over a limited period of time. I think what they are refereing is regular use of laxatives, which is not considered a colon cleanse in alternative health care.

And medicine is using colon cleanses - if you have to do a colon check-up you have to do a colon cleanse, so they can see the mucus membrane.

by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 01:35:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think what they are refereing is regular use of laxatives

No, they don't seem to.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 01:49:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, what I get when I look at Izzy's link is not much information, just one paragraph and klicking on the links in the text only leads to empty pages.
by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 02:05:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The links work alright for me. The link from

And that's where home colon cleansing products come into play.

...leads to:

Natural Colon Cleansing: Is It Necessary?

The practice of natural colon cleansing dates back to ancient Greece. In the United States, cleansing the colon -- the large intestine -- became popular in the 1920s and 1930s. But when the theories behind it lost support, it fell out of favor. Recently, though, colon cleansing -- using, for example, teas, enzymes, or colon irrigation -- has experienced resurgence.

BTW, I repeat: the objection is not against colon cleaning per se, but regular use and a supposed use against "toxins" even for people without serious chronic ailments, so I don't see a contradiction between what you say and the article says.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i think it's something you should do a few times in your life, but not too often, it's much more thorough than a simple enema.

good to do if you changed your diet radically, or after a long illness where maybe you had to take chemical medicine.

i heard that in medical school, doctors-to-be are taught to tell patients not to worry until they've gone 2 weeks without taking a dump!

with a premise like that, i'm not surprised some people become addicted to over-the-counter laxatives, which cause your own colon to become lazy and dependent on them for normal peristalsis.

in the states, they have an excellent preparation called 'perfect 7'. i have used it many times, and i highly recommend it.

for the rest of us, some psyllium seeds once in a while, and plenty of fibre to tickle to colon walls, will have to do!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 07:00:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a Finnish idiot boxer who actually got elected to Parliament for the True Finns (and you can guess what is their doctrine) before discharging guns, beating up his wife in 'roid rage and generally being a twat. But he had the words 'exit only'  tattooed on his ass <it says here>.

In this I must agree - call me old-fashioned, if you will.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 07:18:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Victorian method was a tea made with the bark of a plant called Wormwood monthly, (so called because it was used to flush the internal contents along with any tapeworms) The day after this there was a tendancy to eat tapeworm eggs in the females of the upper classes, the idea being to act as a slimming agent.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:22:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
...so, would an increased fiber intake not be a better remedy even in the case of bloating and constipation?

That is always a good approach, once the digestiv problems are chronic it might not be enough and a kick-start with a colon cleanse can be helpful.

by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 01:37:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Btw. the people who I was refering to take the colloidal silver themselves and are not selling it to other people.
by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 02:02:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not intend to infer selling; but slowly poisoning oneself is bad enough, especially when one could know better. For their own benefit, I suggest you drop them some hints on argyria, for example this article.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:44:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They know, I told them, but I learned a long time ago that people believe what they want to believe - besides so far none off them has any averse effects despite two of them being longtime users.
by Fran on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The bad part is that what is absorbed stays there: once the bad effects show, they will stay.

BTW, this is what bugs me about the alternative vs. mainstream medicine debate:

The crudest sceptics attack all forms of alternative medicine for not giving an effect mechanism or giving a senseless one - which is neither useful nor a scientific thing to do; effect can be there even if still waiting for a proper explanation. More suave critics and proponents are usually debating wheher a medicine/treatment is really effective. But this is of little interest to the patients: maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, true for every medicine. However, desired effect is one thing, side effects another. And often, certain alternative medicines are sold or advertised under the assumption that they lack side effects, when there were no tests to prove that or worse, adverse side effects are well known.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 04:07:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I also believe that psychosomatic effects are common, and that, providing there is statistical evidence that they occur, are just as valid as any other form of medical benefit.

It is a largely unexplored area, for obvious reasons. I'm always rattling on about perceptions, but I do believe there is some kind of feedback mechanism between the mind and the body, and I suspect that it is to do with the internal production of bio- and neurochemicals in response to stimulated states.

However, I also believe that it is a fundamentally subconscious activity, inaccessible by conscious thought directly (e.g. prayer), but available by 'submission' i.e. the body tells you what to do, rather than the other way round.


You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 07:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are actually several studies investigating precisely what the "placebo effect" is - whether it is a real, physical mechanism or merely a psychological construct created after the fact. AFAIK, the consensus seems to be that it is a real physiological effect, but not quite as clear an understanding as we'd like of how it works. So in that sense it is a valid treatment for some things.

An ethical problem arises, however, in the administration of a cure that relies mostly on the placebo effect: The medical practitioner essentially has to lie to the patient, by assuring him (implicitly or explicitly) that the drug will do something that it won't.

And of course, it is in any case of strictly limited utility. No amount of placebo effect will cure your cancer or re-attach a broken bone.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 03:36:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
The crudest sceptics attack all forms of alternative medicine for not giving an effect mechanism or giving a senseless one - which is neither useful nor a scientific thing to do; effect can be there even if still waiting for a proper explanation

My parents, both doctors, always rejected anything that had to do with Echinacea for cold prevention, saying that it would have no effect. I remember I queried them  (I was probably 17-18 or so) if someone had tested this scientifically and was puzzled when they said that no one had because Echinacea was classed as homeopathy. The case was closed with medical authority. Yet it didn't make sense then, and in the past years there are science publications that indicate there are indeed cases where it shows a healing effect.

by Nomad on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 12:21:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Echinacea apparently irritates the lymph glands, thus stimulating immune response. <it says here>

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 at 10:13:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are legitimate uses of silver. The antimicrobial properties of silver ions are useful in the management of infected chronic wounds, in the form of dressings containing metallic or ionic silver. And silver sulfadiazine creams are known to prevent infection of second- and third-degree burns.

You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 03:56:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, as Hippocrates said, "the dose is the poison" -- you may risk local argyria upon longer treatment, while trying to have bacteria die of argyria.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 04:13:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Silver sulfadiazine therapy in widespread bullous disorders: Potential for toxicity
Silver sulfadiazine (SSD) cream, most known for its use in the treatment of extensive burn wounds, is commonly used in the management of erosions in bullous disorders. The beneficial antibacterial effect of SSD use is not without risk, as silver toxicity has been well documented in burn patients. Renal insufficiency accelerates silver accumulation and thus toxicity. Data on silver toxicity in patients with primary blistering disorders is scarce; however the literature regarding silver toxicity in burn patients may be applicable to patients with bullous diseases. Hence we recommend that clinicians exercise caution when prescribing protracted wound care with SSD for blistering disorders.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 04:32:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what happens when topical silver becomes systemic, and transcutaneous absorption is indeed easier whenever the epidermal skin barrier is missing or damaged over a large area, as in cases of generalized bullous disorders (e.g. recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB), severe generalized - a condition I'm familiar with on a professional capacity). These patients require lifelong care, increasing the risk of side-effects of their treatment such as chronic poisoning, as you note.

Sepsis is a frequent and life-threatening complication of RDEB, so much so that keeping wound infections in check is a permanent concern. Having said that, continuous use of silver ointments is not part of the recommended daily wound care routine at home. From the Debra website:

Prevention of infection

Any open area on the skin or mucous membranes is a potential site for infection. The best way to prevent infection is to keep the area clean. Gentle cleansing of the skin, various anti-biotic ointments and soaks may be ordered by the physician. Remember it is always important to wash hands before and after wound care. It is important to note that over use of topical antibiotics may increase chances of resistant strains of bacteria. Mild topical antibiotics may be rotated every two to four weeks to discourage bacterial resistance.



You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 06:17:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vagulus:
It is important to note that over use of topical antibiotics may increase chances of resistant strains of bacteria. Mild topical antibiotics may be rotated every two to four weeks to discourage bacterial resistance.

i find they prolong time needed to heal skin cuts, and make for more scarring.

much better results with a simple beeswax salve with burdock, golden seal, calendula and olive oil.

very easy to knock up in the kitchen.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 06:52:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Melo, I've noted the opposite effect for topical anti-biotics.  That is healing time decreases in some cases.  Nevertheless, I agree that over use of topical antibiotics is not recommended.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 10:58:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah, they have good uses, as last resort. for me, because natural skin cures work in harmony with health, i'll choose when possible to use natural cures.

less side effects...

hydrogen peroxide is very useful topically, as not only is it disinfectant, but the foaming reveals how severe the infection.

of course there are other excellent ways, including salt water, green clay, sesame oil, to name a few, that promote skin repair. (light massage around the wound can also help encourage lymphatic flow, which has been proven to lessen scarring, both internal and external).

for exotic fungi, and tropical infections, sometimes stronger measures are necessary, though it's to be said that cleansing one's system from the inside makes one manifest less problems in the first place, and need lower doses of gentler agents to effect return to health.

fascinating discussion. when i read about the tapeworm trick in the 70's, (was it in jethro kloss?), i remember gagging in horror at the whole idea.

as needs, must...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 05:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Salt water is my favourite for cleaning dirty wounds. Just boil some water, toss in a few scoops of salt, let cool a bit. Plunge wounded area into bowl, soak for quite a while, and then the dirt is generally very easy to dislodge with some soft tissue. The nice thing is it doesn't hurt, unlike alcohol or peroxide, which stings like a motherfucker. Daily resoaking will keep it clean and from getting infected.

Ah! And I will include my grandmother's folk remedy for warts. Rub the warts will the some rind from salty pork. (You know, that bit of the pork they make bacon from) Then bury the rind at midnight, and under no circumstance tell anyone about what you did until after it has worked.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 at 01:21:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny, my grandmother had exactly the same remedy for warts!  She added that you should not wash after the rubbing at night.  And also said that when the pork rind had 'disintegrated', the wart would be gone - it would take a few weeks.  I did not believe her, but let her rub the pork rind on my wart (I was 8 years old).

It worked!  

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 at 09:38:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Curing a wart. It only takes a four and a half weeks if you rub it with pork rind.

It takes about a month if you leave it alone...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 at 05:07:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not quite true. I know of a pediatrician who bought the warts from children for a few coins and they mostly vanished within a few hours. However, it worked best with small childern.
by Fran on Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 at 05:15:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
funny, i never found peroxide stings.

alcohol, yes, lemon even more!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 at 09:20:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As for some advice.

The cure-for-all I am familiar with is chamomile tea. Drink/inhale its vapour against cold, fever, diarrhoea; bathe clothes resp. a wad in it and then use those to foment the body when you have high fever, or an inflammation, or eyesore.

In my personal experience, the effect seems truly noticeable for diarrhoea and eyesore.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 12:57:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aspirin. Works well and it's cheap.
by MarekNYC on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 01:25:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The old Polish country remedy for screaming babies was poppy extract. It apparently worked like a charm, or so says family lore.
by MarekNYC on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 01:24:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 05:37:30 PM EST
Dammit, metatone!  Cross-posting is my dirty secret - practically the only bad habit I have left! - and here you go exposing me.  Can't a person have a shred of privacy on the internet?

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 05:45:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Enticing The Tapeworm
having your stool tested for parasites and/or yoga.

Hmmm - bendy.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:20:10 PM EST
well the next time I see someone trying to sell a yoga stool, I'll kniw to steer well clear.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:24:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
3 legs are better than 2.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:28:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that walking is the best cure for many ailments. If you look at a human being, it is quote extraordinary to notice that the legs make up HALF of the body. Other animals are much more balanced in their design, with a better balance between head, body, legs, tails, etc. Humans are made to walk.

If you're not walking at least a couple of miles a day then it's to be expected that your intestines, heart, lungs, muscles, joints, etc. are not going to be working correctly...

by asdf on Sat Jan 31st, 2009 at 09:35:16 PM EST
i agree, asdf. apparently you use 42 muscles just raising your leg to take a step.

hill walking especially, and walking on rough ground, all build up strength and flexibility in the muscles that support ankles, hips and knees, and the lower back.

it snowed an inch this morning, and your post has inspired me to go for a walk in it.

love that crunch of fresh powder!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 05:11:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two good books

Where There is No Doctor

Where There is No Dentist

are about the medical care of self and others in the absence of credentialled professionals.  many long distance cruisers (as well as homesteaders) have one or both of these reference/howto texts.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 12:01:45 AM EST
Thanks, De!  Good to see you.  Hope things are well on your end.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 04:17:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greetings to all.

I am very busy with my local projects, including putting in the infrastructure for a food garden.  My long silence is not indicative of anything wrong -- no news is good news in this case.  New love has come into my life most unexpectedly this last summer, and I've been rather closely focussed on "soaking in" to my local community and biome, coming to terms with a new lover/partner after many years of solitude, and enjoying the command of my own time that has come with retirement from the day job.

It is odd to be finding contentment and happiness, even moments of dumb-grin joy, in a time of (what looks like) civilisational collapse.  Even on the brink of the volcano, it seems, we can still dance a hornpipe.  I'm working on the boat, trying to make her mobile again before the supply of industrial goods starts to dry up;  got a worm bin started, am composting food waste and (as I said) planning a food garden in my partner's back yard.

Recent reading:

The Essential Agrarian Reader (Wirzba ed.) (!)
A Short History of Progress (Wright) (!)
Year Around Harvest: Winter Gardening on the  Coast (Gilkeson)
The Whole Grain Cookbook (Livingston) (!)
Art and Technics (Mumford)
Spook Country (Gibson) (!)
New and Collected Works (Mary Oliver) (!)
Handy Farm Devices and How to Make Them
Barnyard in Your Backyard (the section on chickens)
The Fate of Mice (Palwick) (!)

(marked with ! are highly recommended)

on the list if I ever get around to 'em:

When Technology Fails
No Fixed Address (voyages of a BC junk)
The Making of the English Working Class

I'm trying to get Taz mobile by my birthday (early March) so really buckling down to it.  Thus the shortage of goofing-off-online hours.  I'm about 5 months behind on blog entries (daclarke.org) but trying to catch up when I have a free evening.

Sounds a bit boring, no?  but actually, life seems very textured, interesting, and rich to me at present.  Just a little short on reflecting/writing time :-)  I do drop by ET regularly and dip into the flow of ideas and conversation;  but am too busy actually implementing my ideas and conclusions at present to talk much about 'em.  Best wishes to all;  may your saner counsels prevail over the madness that now passes for policy in the wealthy, deranged, oil-drunk nations...

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Wed Feb 4th, 2009 at 12:45:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DeAnander:
New love has come into my life most unexpectedly this last summer

...is it ever expected...? :-)

Good for you, and your lover/partner.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Feb 4th, 2009 at 01:20:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DeAnander:
Sounds a bit boring, no?

anything but!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Feb 5th, 2009 at 04:34:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am very busy with my local projects, including putting in the infrastructure for a food garden.  My long silence is not indicative of anything wrong -- no news is good news in this case.  New love has come into my life most unexpectedly this last summer, and I've been rather closely focussed on "soaking in" to my local community and biome, coming to terms with a new lover/partner after many years of solitude, and enjoying the command of my own time that has come with retirement from the day job.

Good news? From De? Now I'm convinced the world is ending!

Seriously, it's good to hear you're doing well.


It is odd to be finding contentment and happiness, even moments of dumb-grin joy, in a time of (what looks like) civilisational collapse.

I'd expect nothing  less from you!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 5th, 2009 at 05:25:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great to hear from you De! and sounds to me like you are living the high live, very exciting. :-)
by Fran on Thu Feb 5th, 2009 at 05:42:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All this and nobody mentions Tiger Balm?

Tiger Balm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tiger Balm  is the trade name for a heat rub manufactured and distributed by Haw Par Healthcare in Singapore. It was originally developed in the 1870s by an herbalist, Aw Chu Kin, in Rangoon, Burma, who asked his sons Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par on his deathbed to perfect the product

It does not contain real tiger.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 01:37:58 PM EST
Theres a Ghanean equivalent, that my father brought back from Africa in the 80's, and I remember it as being much more effective. unfortunately neither of us can remember what it was actually called, beyond the fact it was something other than tiger balm.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 01:52:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently my maternal grandmother was a bit of an expert, by today's standards, on natural remedies.  But she was in her fifties when the NHS was introduced-too late to save the son who died from peritonitis because the family delayed too long in calling a doctor they couldn't afford.

Unfortunately, her recipe book went missing when she died.  However, I do know that not all her ideas were...exactly helpful.  I can remember my father jumping a foot in the air when he caught my mother telling we children to "breathe in the tar fumes-it'll do you good".  They're carcinogenic, of course, and my mother admitted it was a direct quote from her own.

She's also famous for her home made wine.  Which she served to children quite happily in large quantities, informing everyone that it was all right, because she hadn't put any alcohol in it.  Lots of yeast, yes.  Loads of sugar.  :)

by Sassafras on Sun Feb 1st, 2009 at 03:50:43 PM EST
Well, it seems to me (a person with health insurance) that the last bazillion or so times I've been to the Dr., I've been told to go home and get lots of sleep and liquids.  I broke a toe and they taped it up and gave me painkillers.  I saw a Dr. yesterday and she said I was just fine.  I suspected she told everyone that.  But then I heard someone sobbing in the next room, so I guess not.  Seems like I don't need doctors.  But then, what if I'm hit by a car?

In Russia they made us learn how to give ourselves injections.

Anyway, here's my home remedy for everything:
A steady intake of multi-vitamins, raw garlic, Airborne, de-caf peppermint green tea, cranberry juice, ginger-ale, raw honey, Advil, chicken soup and doughnuts -everything in copious amounts.  

It's rare a brisk walk, hot bath and glass of wine will not make me feel better.  

I too am a product of whiskey-based childhood cures.  

We used to put tobacco on bee stings.  Now that no one smokes, will people no linger do that?  Ammonia or bleach on mosquito bites too.  Sounds harsh, eh?  Works.  

I've been learning some acupressure.  Either I am doing it wrong or it doesn't have any longterm effects.

Now I think I have a tape worm.  Thanks Izzy.

Come, my friends, 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

by poemless on Wed Feb 4th, 2009 at 01:19:28 PM EST
Now that no one smokes

You stopped again?

BTW, I realised recently that I never see a colleague I knew as chain-smoker with a cigarette. I asked him, turns out he quit months ago - he said cold-turkey, from one minute to another (after his doctor warned him about his heart). Never knew a chain-smoker capable of that. He agreed it's unusual, by joking that he "did it several times before".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 4th, 2009 at 01:41:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I meant no one besides Izzy & I.  After we die of lung cancer (home remedy for that, anyone?) then it will be officially "no one."

Come, my friends, 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
by poemless on Wed Feb 4th, 2009 at 01:52:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a Nicosaurus too...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 4th, 2009 at 02:24:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not true.  I probably smoke enough to cover both of you, but I reckon I'll go first as a consequence.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Feb 4th, 2009 at 08:32:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We used to put tobacco on bee stings

My understanding of that technique was that bringing a lit cigarette near a bee sting would heat the venom and make it ineffective...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Feb 4th, 2009 at 07:12:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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