Thank Goodness For Modern Medicine, Part 4

Gill returns once again with another look at why life expectancy used to be a whole lot shorter.

You may or may not have asked for it, but from moldy bread for infected wounds to a junk shocker belt here are some more treatments to make you thankful for the 21st century.

  • 1 Moldy bread – Straight out of ancient Egypt this rather progressive treatment was used especially for infected cuts and scrapes. They unknowingly had something there.
  • 2 Snail slime – Got a sore throat or ear infection? Don’t fret, just go to the garden, rob some snails of their slime and consume it.
  • 3 Chloroform – If you’ve ever watched a show where someone throws a rag over someone’s face and drags their unconscious form away they just might have been given chloroform. Now picture this, it’s 1850, and you need surgery, your doctor could give you ether, but chooses instead to give you this just as dangerous solution.
  • 4 the Impotence belt – in the middle of the 19th century when electricity was just becoming a thing doctors were trying to harness its benefits. Apparently one of the benefits was a cure to a man not being able to perform. He would wear this belt and a shot of voltage would go through his member to get shall we say things going.
  • 5 Shock Therapy – In the 1930’s a doctor came up with the idea that a person, such as myself, would benefit from being electrocuted. Although still used today, side effects are common. Thankfully my bipolar disorder is treated with a pill and not potential brain damage.

Question

What home remedies do you remember from your childhood, or that you have created yourself?

Gillie saying stay well

Black History Minute

And now, Gill would like to take a second to recognize Black History Month.

You’ve probably heard of those challenges on youtube, it seems there’s one every five seconds. Now imagine it’s 1896 and your a person of color trying to patent your device to improve farming or get a loan for your business. Sadly the door gets slammed in your face, but you do not give up.

Heart Of The Matter

Before 1893 most heart wounds proved fatal, but Dr. Daniel Hale Williams came up with a technique to save a person’s life with a procedure he created called open-heart surgery. The stabbing victim survived.

Question

Although we have come along way in relations between the races we still have a long way to go, what can you do to help this process toward a better world?

Gillie wishing you peace

Stuff I Love, Part 1

Gill, who has been cranking out lists like crazy lately, has made another one to help you get to know her better.

I have talked a lot lately about things people frown upon, and you might be asking Ms. Gillie, what makes you happy? What do you love? Well from curries to cheater snacks I’m going to tell you some of my personal favorite foods.

  • 1 Soup – this is a tough one to be honest with you out there reading this. I would say my favorites are tomato, broccoli, leak, and chicken rice {homemade} but when it comes to more unique ones I like Spanish garlic soup, squash soup, apple curry soup, and pumpkin.
  • 2 General snacks – I would have to say that I love these deep fried snap peas, the plain ones are ok but the best by far are the wasabi ranch. Other things I like are rice chips, sour cream and onion, and kettle corn.
  • 3 Comfort foods – Again with the tough ones. My mom makes this stuff called taco pie, it has beef, tomato, cheese, spices, in Bisquick.
  • 4 Burgers – The best by far is when my dad throws some Kobes on the BBQ. The best non-homemade was at this Memphis style BBQ place near where I grew up, it was a portabello mushroom cap burger smoked and coated in BBQ sauce.
  • 5 Going International – If there’s some kind of South or Southeast Asian grocer you can bet I’ll be there. I love a good pad Thai, and Indian curry.
  • 6 Stuff I love making – I love traveling the world with out the expensive plane tickets and passport requirements. Right now I have made a Mexican inspired quinoa dish with peppers, zucchini, onion, and tomatoes. On any given week you might see me whip up a Bolivian rice and corn dish or a Pakistani curry.
  • 7 Desserts – I am normally not really a dessert person, but if someone even mentions icecream of the chocolate, Carmel, or mint variety, I’m there.
  • 8 Cheater snacks – I have type 2 diabetes and must be careful with what I eat, but sometimes I just have to indulge. My favorite indulgences are chocolate anything, cookies, and licorice.

Question

What are your go-to foods for anytime, whether your chillin at home, or out?

Gillie telling you not to be afraid of adventure

The Lost Art Of Fun

And now, Gill is here to remind us of the good old days, A.K.A. that time when children were still allowed to and wanted to do things.


With most traditional activities for kids frowned upon due to safety, kids are shying away from the bigger elements of fun. With the obesity pandemic this will be the first generation where parents will outlive their children. What can we do? We can look to the times when we were kids for inspiration.

  • 1 Saturday Morning – After a certain year Saturday morning cartoons were no longer shown on most TV stations. Before that depending on where and when you were a kid you probably got up early, ran out to the living room, and started out with Thom and Jerry or Bugs Bunny. Once your parents came in or down Merry Melodies would be on and you’d go eat breakfast. Following that you would get ready for the day just in time for Speed Racer or Spiderman, and if you lived in the suburbs or city your friends would be knocking.
  • 2 Things you probably did – If you lived in the country like I did you would have to be driven places to meet or bring friends over. If, like I said, you lived in the city or suburbs you might go to the neighborhood park, or riding bikes with your friends. If your parents were first generation Canadian, American, British, or Australian you might have been enrolled in cultural schools.
  • 3 Rainy Day Stuff – If it rained the night before or that morning you didn’t have to worry, you would find something cool to do. Maybe one of your friends parents was an artist and had all the cool art supplies, or maybe you needed new shoes, so you would go to the shoe store and then for lunch somewhere.
  • 4 Winter Fun – Like I said in the things banned from schools article I was lucky enough to live in a school district that allowed students to experience some outdoor activities. If you were not however, and you lived in a place that got winter you would probably have found some fun. E.G. you might have had an uncle who had a pond turned rink on his property.

Question

Did you know tobogganing was banned in the city I now call home? They have now reinstated it, but only on two hills. What fun activity from your childhood would you like to see kids put down the devices and go do?

Gillie telling you to enjoy the sunshine, unless they frown on that

They Banned That From Schools? Part Three

Because way too many adults are determined to be fun vacuums, Gill has returned with a third list of things frowned upon by the educational institutions that are supposed to be in charge of churning out functional human beings that are capable of coping in the world.

Here we are again, yes I’ve found more stuff that the fun ruiners frown upon.

  • 1 Halloween – A Pennsylvania school district banned Halloween due to the fact that some religious groups objected.
  • 2 Homemade lunches – In Chicago schools can decide for themselves what will or won’t be banned. One such school banned homemade lunches. Those poor kids! Give me a turkey sandwich on ancient grain bread by my mom any day.
  • 3 Cartwheeling and other flips- For this we head down under. What if you want to show off your mad gymnastics skills?
  • 4 Bake Sales – New York city not only banned big gulps but bake sales. I understand there’s an obesity thing going on, but how else will they raise funds to go to Orlando on the school band trip?

Question

What do you think will be banned next?

Gillie going off to do some flips and bake and sell some five chocolate cake

Emergency Rooms Aren’t Fun!

It’s time once again to take a trip with Gill down memory lane and look at some toys that somehow didn’t kill us. Well, not most of us, anyway.

From lawn darts to the world’s hungriest cabbage patch doll I am here to talk a bit more about unsafe toys.

  • 1 Gilbert Atomic Energy kit – Oh Gilbert! How is it that you’ve made this list once more? In the early 1950’s all things atomic were all the rage. Kids could get this wonder, I mean future sickness kit with live uranium. Yes, you read me right, live uranium. Luckily it was taken from toy shelves after two years.
  • 2 Lawn Darts – Whomever thought that giving youngsters sharp objects, saying to them, aim for the circle, and toss this in the air, was a good idea wasn’t thinking. It took three fatalities and many more injuries to get this pulled from the market.
  • 3 Remote control airplanes – These look pretty tame, until one of the brands ruined its reputation by becoming an explosive projectile.
  • 4 Mini-hammocks – Wouldn’t you just love to go curl up with a book on a hot summer day? Here’s where the issue comes in. The hammocks themselves, especially from one company, didn’t have spreader bars making them strangle hazards. Several kids died, and more suffered brain damage.
  • 5 Snack Time Cabbage Patch doll

    Picture this: Your eight-years-old, and your coolest aunt and uncle gave you this for Christmas. You go to feed it the food from the package, but the doll can’t differentiate between your little fingers and the food. This was the main issue, with out a battery or switch this pretty much scalped a ten-year-old girl in 1996.

Question

Did I leave out any unsafe toys? What items do you want to hear about next?

Thank Goodness For Modern Medicine, Part Three

And now, Gill returns to make us simultaneously cringe and feel grateful to be alive now.

From Sheep livers to find out what’s wrong with you to radiated toothpaste, we talk more old-timy medicine.

  • 1 Sheep’s liver as an X-ray – In what is now Iraq physicians didn’t have x-rays to tell whether you had a sprain or a break, so what did they use? Well they would sacrifice a sheep, look at the liver of said sheep, and diagnose you that way.
  • 2 Osteotome – Invented circa 1830 this saw was originally used to cut in to the skull, later it was used in arm and leg amputations. Early neurological surgeons figured it much easier to use this rather than a reciprocating saw, because of its ability to do cleaner cuts.
  • 3 Artificial leaches – Often used in ear and eye surgery this object invented by a French surgeon circa 1840 was two blades to cut the skin, and a vacuum tube to catch the blood. If the surgeon cleaned it between uses it proved more sanitary than actual infection spreading leaches.
  • 4 Radiated Toothpaste – At the dawn of the 20th century people were unaware of the effects of radiation, and it became a thing to put radium in everything from water to toothpaste.
  • 5 Lobotomy- Up until medications came new in the middle of the 20th century people like myself who do have mental illnesses had few treatment options. One of the most barbaric was the lobotomy. Surgeons would ram an ice pick through the corner of the victim, I mean patient’s eye and sever the connection between the frontal lobe and rest of the brain. If the person receiving the treatment survived they were often times left severely mentally disabled.

Question

Have I forgotten any treatments from the past? If so, write in.

It’s All Fun Times Until You Go To Emergency

Gill is back once again to open the lid on the toybox of death.

From slingshots to kite tubes here are some more unsafe toys.

  • 1 The Bird Of Paradise Slingshot – Somehow with its razor sharp parts this toy that not even Denis the Menace would play with made toy shelves. It also earned the distinction of being one of the first majorly recalled toys.
  • 2 Soccer Boppers

    who wouldn’t want to combine the beautiful game with a blood sport? Out in the late 1990’s this was what it sounds like, soccer balls combined with boxing gloves.
  • 3 Gilbert Glass Blowing Kit – This was from the same folks who brought you the caster kits of the 1930’s, only they thought it perfectly ok in the 1950’s to teach especially boys the art of suffering incredibly painful injuries.
  • 4 Kite Tubes – what’s better than time at the lake? Riding on a tube thirty feet in the air with little more than footholds and handholds. Two fatalities and many more injuries were reported.
  • 5 Creepy Crawlers

    what’s more fun than ouchies and inhaling toxic levels of molten plastic? They weren’t thinking of that back in 1964 when all you had to do was plug in a hotplate and place goo in metal molds. The fun really kicked up when removing the toy bugs, the temp in this trip to the burn unit reached 350C.
  • 6 Mini-Motorcycle for kids – Body casts do ruin summers and fun. The issue with this motorcycle was the accelerator would sometimes stick sending kids drifting at high rates of speed down steep hills or into traffic.

Question

What were some toys you would love to see from your childhood brought back today?

Thank Goodness For Modern Medicine, Part Two

As you’re reading this or at least at the time it posts itself, I’m at the dentist. I will come home from this excursion with a headache from hell. I always do. I don’t know why, but it’s been happening as far back as I can remember. Perhaps one of these old medical treatments Gill found might help.

From whirling chairs and sugar comas to half mice and patent medicine here are some medical treatments from the past that will shock you.

  • 1 Whirling chairs and sugar comas – These supposed treatments were supposed to help mentally ill people. The whirling chair circa 1850 spun the victim, I mean patient at a high rate of speed in order to settle the madness. Inducing sugar comas was believed to cure personality disorders.
  • 2 Tobacco enemas – are you curious on how the saying blowing smoke up someone’s behind came to be? In 1774 two British physicians figured they could cure drowning victims with a rubber hose inserted rectally. This supposed treatment worked on the idea that pumping tobacco where the sun doesn’t go would revive someone at the point of death. They were proved wrong in 1811 when scientists started drawing links between lung and heart issues and tobacco.
  • 3 Patent Medicine – Do you feel tired, does your wife have the vapors, your newborn babe not take the breast easily, or do you have the lumbago? Well gather round and buy Dr. Carswell’s Miracle Potion! It cures everything from hemorrhoids to insomnia. Throughout the 19th century people in traveling medicine shows would sell these supposed treatments. Most of the time they would do nothing or make the issue worse, and shortly after the dawn of the 20th century the products were deemed useless or even dangerous.
  • 4 Mercury – Now we know how dangerous this is, but many years ago people would use it to treat everything from cuts to sexually transmitted infections. American President Abraham Lincoln famously took blue pills laced with mercury until 1861 when he drew the link between violent outbursts and mercury.
  • 5 Half mice for warts – Back in the Elizabethan era if one wanted a cure for warts, no they didn’t reach for the W, they cut a mouse in half to treat the issue. Gross, I’ll just stick to the W.

Question

Tell me of either an old wives tale, or outdated medical practice that has you curious.