Saturday, March 11, 2023

Today -100: March 11, 1923: Of absurd ordinances, sleeping, and Harding in the mud where he belongs

The Post (UK) (possibly they mean the Morning Post?) says Lady Astor’s bill against under-age drinking in saloons would be a dead letter “like that absurd ordinance prohibiting boys under 16 from smoking cigarettes.”

With cases of sleeping sickness popping up in New York, causing several deaths, the health commissioner issues a warning against coughing, sneezing and spitting, which he reminds the public are against the law unless the mouth and nose are covered. He does admit that the mode of transmission of sleeping sickness is not understood (Hint: not through coughing, sneezing or spitting).

Mostly I’m relaying that story because one of the principles of this blog is to repeat as often as possible that sleeping sickness can be treated effectively and cheaply with Eflornithine, but Aventis stopped making the drug in the ‘90s because there’s just not enough profit in curing sick Africans of lethal diseases. Fortunately, the drug also turned out to be effective in treating unwanted facial hair in women, which is profitable, so they started producing it again.

Headline/Metaphor of the Day -100:  

Hey, I missed something: Henry Riggs Rathbone was elected to Congress last year, R. from Illinois. Not hugely interesting in himself, he was the son of Maj. Henry Rathbone, who was in the booth in Ford’s Theatre with Abraham that night with his fiancé/step-sister Clara and was stabbed by John Wilkes Booth. He eventually recovered and married Clara, but guilt from failing to save Lincoln gradually drove him insane. In 1883, now consul in Hanover, he attacked his children and Clara, murdering her. He spent the rest of his life in a German insane asylum, dying in 1911. Anyway, his kid’s a congresscritter now.

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