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   This Thanksgiving let's all pause to be grateful for the thing that made the Pilgrims' life in the new world possible: rat urine

21 Nov 2012 01:19 PM   |   8978 clicks   |   Slate
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Lsherm    [TotalFark]  
It's estimated as many as nine out of 10 coastal Indians were killed in the epidemic between 1616 and 1619.

I'm having a hard time deciding if this is going to make me feel more guilty or less guilty this Thanksgiving. After all, we didn't do it on purpose.

21 Nov 2012 12:58 PM
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Jake Havechek     

Lsherm: It's estimated as many as nine out of 10 coastal Indians were killed in the epidemic between 1616 and 1619.

I'm having a hard time deciding if this is going to make me feel more guilty or less guilty this Thanksgiving. After all, we didn't do it on purpose.


No. We did that later, with guns and armies and cash rewards for how many Indians you killed.

21 Nov 2012 01:20 PM
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Scorpinock     

21 Nov 2012 01:22 PM
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ChipNASA    [TotalFark]  

Lsherm: It's estimated as many as nine out of 10 coastal Indians were killed in the epidemic between 1616 and 1619.

I'm having a hard time deciding if this is going to make me feel more guilty or less guilty this Thanksgiving. After all, we didn't do it on purpose.


No that was when the Pilgrims gave the Indians the blankets with smallpox on them given to then by the Vatican through the Church of England.
/ sub>{;-D

21 Nov 2012 01:22 PM
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Englebert Slaptyback     

rat urine


"RAT FARTS!" - Spaulding Smails

21 Nov 2012 01:25 PM
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Onkel Buck     
i135.photobucket.com 
i162.photobucket.com

/DNRTFA
//got nothing
///Happy Pissgiving!

21 Nov 2012 01:25 PM
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HailRobonia     
Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo.

21 Nov 2012 01:30 PM
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HailRobonia     
Wet sanitary rat in a stew.

21 Nov 2012 01:31 PM
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ChipNASA    [TotalFark]  

HailRobonia: Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo.


HailRobonia: Wet sanitary rat in a stew.


Rats in the sewer system, crawling through your poo.

21 Nov 2012 01:36 PM
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StoPPeRmobile     
Strawberry tart?

21 Nov 2012 01:37 PM
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h2oincfs     
I have had this, and it is not fun. Liver and kidneys shut down for about 3 days, could eat nothing for 2 weeks. Fever, chills, meningitis, hallucinations, pain and vomiting. I lost 45 pounds over a 2 week period. I had Mees lines on my finger and toenails. A pathologist friend of mine told me she'd never seen them on a living person.

21 Nov 2012 01:37 PM
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theorellior    [TotalFark]  
Sad to say, if it wasn't leptosporisis that killed them, influenza, smallpox, mumps, measles, chickenpox or rubella were all waiting in the wings to have their go at it.

21 Nov 2012 01:38 PM
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ChipNASA    [TotalFark]  

theorellior: Sad to say, if it wasn't leptosporisis that killed them, influenza, smallpox, mumps, measles, chickenpox or rubella were all waiting in the wings to have their go at it.


Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Genital Warts, Chlamydia, Herpes, AIDS.

21 Nov 2012 01:41 PM
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JohnCarter     
Thank you rattus rattus, our new National Emblem... he will look nifty gripping the arrows in one claw and the olive branch in another

www.partyvibe.com

21 Nov 2012 01:42 PM
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rickythepenguin    [TotalFark]  
You wanna play mind-crazed banjo
On the druggy-drag ragtime USA?
In Parkland International, hey!
Junkiedom USA
Where cocaine proves the purest rock man groove
and rat urine.
The volatile Molotov says.....

21 Nov 2012 01:43 PM
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Wadded Beef    [TotalFark]  
"...for Slate, on the Rat-Urine/Thanksgiving Beat, I'm Madeleine Johnson."

21 Nov 2012 01:45 PM
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LeroyBourne     
cowboylands.net
stupid farking white man

21 Nov 2012 01:48 PM
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Kanemano     
and this is why you don't drink from standing water.

21 Nov 2012 01:50 PM
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ChipNASA    [TotalFark]  

Kanemano: and this is why you don't drink from standing water.


t.qkme.me

21 Nov 2012 01:51 PM
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Clemkadidlefark     
Very strange thing to focus on at Thanksgiving. But then, secular humanists are very strange people. If .. people they are.

21 Nov 2012 01:51 PM
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Holocaust Agnostic     
Eat your damn turkey and save the soapboxing about all the vile shiat Whitey did for Columbus day.

21 Nov 2012 01:53 PM
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topcon     
It's a good thing proto-Americans were the first people to ever take land by force, so we should all just handwring over it hundreds of years later.

21 Nov 2012 01:57 PM
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hp6sa     

h2oincfs: Mees lines


Huh - looked up Mees lines... learned something new today, thanks to Fark.

/sorry about your shiatty disease.

21 Nov 2012 01:58 PM
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macadamnut     
www.nxfansite.net.au

21 Nov 2012 01:58 PM
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topcon     

rickythepenguin: You wanna play mind-crazed banjo
On the druggy-drag ragtime USA?
In Parkland International, hey!
Junkiedom USA
Where cocaine proves the purest rock man groove
and rat urine.
The volatile Molotov says.....


Vamos vamos muchacho

21 Nov 2012 02:00 PM
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Fark Rye For Many Whores     

ChipNASA: Syphilis


The others yes, but probably not syphillis.

21 Nov 2012 02:01 PM
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natgod     
One of the best books I've ever read is "Plagues and Peoples". If you enjoyed reading about rat piss today, you'll love that book.

21 Nov 2012 02:05 PM
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Fark Rye For Many Whores     
It is unclear why this particular infectious disease should afflict Native Americans and not subsequent European colonists. Prior exposure does not necessarily result in immunity because there are a number of different infectious strains.

A clue might lie in the way these different cultures interacted with natural environments.
...
There are other theories about this epidemic, and experts in modern leptospirosis think the death rate at Patuxet is a tad too high to jibe with the disease they see. It would have to have been an extremely virulent strain, or an extremely high exposure rate, to add up to 90 percent fatality.


Not really. The Indians around there are known to have different immune genetics which makes it harder to develop a resistance to anything.

21 Nov 2012 02:11 PM
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signaljammer     
Another factor IIRC is that there were more Europeans than Amerinds. The larger population tends to fare better in germ swapping with the smaller.

21 Nov 2012 02:21 PM
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calm like a bomb     
A disease with a typical untreated death rate of less than 25% suddenly jumps to 90%, then goes away despite the presence of the reservoir species when the next population comes along? I could make just as convincing a case they they were murdered by an undiscovered race of man-bear-pig.

21 Nov 2012 02:22 PM
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freewill    [TotalFark]  

signaljammer: Another factor IIRC is that there were more Europeans than Amerinds. The larger population tends to fare better in germ swapping with the smaller.


As far as I know, there really weren't, at least until our diseases raced out ahead of us and pre-genocided them for us.

21 Nov 2012 02:25 PM
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Pawprint     
I loved the level of snark in that article. Example: "Like Pilgrims in the New World, leptospira must first penetrate the host." HAR!

21 Nov 2012 02:32 PM
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The Evil Home Brewer     
Ahhhh, Yes..... Thanksgiving......

Tomorrow we celebrate fooling the Native Americans into believing Euro-Colonialization of the "New World" was a good thing that would benefit both cultures.

How's that working out for you Indians?
/Drives past a $1,000,000 + /day casino to and from work everyday..... Pretty damn good I'd say

21 Nov 2012 02:33 PM
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Kanemano     

The Evil Home Brewer: How's that working out for you Indians?
/Drives past a $1,000,000 + /day casino to and from work everyday..... Pretty damn good I'd say




After only what 400 years, see, if you Cherokees' were just patient that trail of tears would work out for you.

21 Nov 2012 02:40 PM
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theorellior    [TotalFark]  

signaljammer: Another factor IIRC is that there were more Europeans than Amerinds. The larger population tends to fare better in germ swapping with the smaller.


A larger factor is that Europeans domesticated so many other species. Influenza comes from pigs, measles from rinderpest in cattle, smallpox from rodents. Add to that urban living, and you have a reservoir population that is constantly exposed to these diseases. Over time Europeans became more immune to them, and could spread them elsewhere.

21 Nov 2012 02:40 PM
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theorellior    [TotalFark]  

The Evil Home Brewer: /Drives past a $1,000,000 + /day casino to and from work everyday..... Pretty damn good I'd say


Minus the death and the forced relocations and grinding poverty, sure, it's working out great!

21 Nov 2012 02:42 PM
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DjangoStonereaver    [TotalFark]  
media.wnyc.org

Is sure his concert at the Fleet center in 1616 had nothing to do with this.

21 Nov 2012 02:46 PM
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jpo2269     
Dumbarsed writer... it is almost as if the first Thanksgiving at Berkeley Plantation (Virginia) never happened in 1619...

21 Nov 2012 03:21 PM
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KrispyKritter    [TotalFark]  

h2oincfs: I have had this, and it is not fun. Liver and kidneys shut down for about 3 days, could eat nothing for 2 weeks. Fever, chills, meningitis, hallucinations, pain and vomiting. I lost 45 pounds over a 2 week period. I had Mees lines on my finger and toenails. A pathologist friend of mine told me she'd never seen them on a living person.


good lord that is creepy as hell just reading that. i'm sorry you experienced that hell. bless your heart. it is just amazing what some people are able to endure and keep living. it's like you are on your second life, you got a second chance.

21 Nov 2012 06:17 PM
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Great Porn Dragon     

calm like a bomb: A disease with a typical untreated death rate of less than 25% suddenly jumps to 90%, then goes away despite the presence of the reservoir species when the next population comes along? I could make just as convincing a case they they were murdered by an undiscovered race of man-bear-pig.


With epidemics among uncontacted peoples, it's actually not that uncommon--there are literally First Nations in Brazil and Peru that have had fully nine out of ten members wiped out from Western diseases (almost to a one, diseases that originated from zoonoses contracted via ungulate agriculture) that they had no exposure to.

Probably one of the biggies is (of all things) measles in this regard--indigenous Americans hiked the land bridge from Siberia to North America, and said land bridge well and truly shut down, several thousand years before rinderpest jumped from cattle to humans (and subsequently evolved into measles--the "human-infectious proto-measles rinderpest virus" is thought to have jumped to humans around the time of the Roman Empire and was recognised as a distinct infectious disease in humans during the Golden Age of Islam--in fact, it's one of the first diseases we actually have a good record for re its evolution from a zoonotic illness). It also used to be a hell of a lot more virulent and calmed down considerably as it spread throughout European populations...alas, groups like the Yanomami and Waorani Nations never really had any experience with rinderpest, much less "human rinderpest", and the reactions (and death rates) are a lot more similar to the early measles epidemics than what most folks think of.

It's also speculated this is why First Nations peoples had such a horrid time with smallpox--it, too, seems to have specifically speciated to humans after the closing of the Beringia land bridge (possibly originally from African poxviruses, and in a rarity we seem to have given smallpox as a zoonosis to cattle in the form of vaccinia according to some theories), and the reactions documented in (for instance) the first smallpox epidemic in Tenochtitlan were especially severe, lots of "black pox" (haemorrhagic smallpox, almost uniformly fatal) and fulminant smallpox even compared to most European outbreaks of variola major.

That said--the transmission of cruds between the Old World and the New World wasn't one-dimensional. Syphilis, as others have noted, likely originated in the New World, and when the first syphilis outbreaks occurred in Europe it would seem the disease was far more virulent originally in European populations (with a rather more rapid and fulminant course of infection, such that it became known as the "Great Pox"--yes, as in worse than the smallpox both from the scarring and the ultimate fate of the victims). The main thing was that Europeans in general had spent a lot longer living with zoonotic cruds and living in unhygenic conditions and had built up more of a natural immunity.

(And again, it isn't just the Americas and Europe here, either. Cholera ended up in Europe by way of India (via Russian trade routes--until that point, cholera had remained largely an illness of the Ganges River basin, reported mostly by Greek writers and ayurvedic medical texts) and in its initial epidemics in England (and in the Americas) it was particularly devastating. Haiti, alas, is also the most recent example of how a novel cholera bug can get really nasty--cholera hadn't existed in Haiti for a good long time, until a sick Nepalese worker quite accidentally brought cholera back during UN assistance to earthquake victims...and even worse, it was a new and particularly virulent strain of cholera that is capable of killing (at least people unaccustomed to it) within two hours.

(Another example of a nasty that ended up in the Americas via some involuntary European help--Yellow fever, which is now endemic in much of tropical South America (as well as sub-Saharan tropical Africa) and actually caused some fairly severe epidemics in the late colonial and early "Articles of Confederation" history of the United States in places like Philadelphia. The likely vector? None other than the slave trade--apparently slavemongers were not exactly picky over their human cargo's health, and conditions within the slave ships were perfect for breeding Aedes aegypti (the main vector of yellow fever). Because of a bunch of asshats selling people as property, a lot of people in South America have to live with a nasty (and occasionally frankly fatal and haemorrhagic) viral disease, one which was the primary factor in the delay of the building of the Panama Canal before it was realised that mosquito control could get rid of the vectors of the disease. Before that, scientists thought--and I am not making this up--that yellow fever was just some Jungle Ague that for some reason white folks were particularly susceptible to.)

22 Nov 2012 03:47 AM
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Need_MindBleach     

Lsherm: It's estimated as many as nine out of 10 coastal Indians were killed in the epidemic between 1616 and 1619.

I'm having a hard time deciding if this is going to make me feel more guilty or less guilty this Thanksgiving. After all, we didn't do it on purpose.


The knowledge that ~90% of American Indians were killed by European diseases has been old news for decades. The American Indians didn't lose their lands because they sucked at fighting so much, they lost their lands because they had just been through the goddamn apocalypse and didn't have anywhere near the numbers to fight off the invading whites.

22 Nov 2012 10:42 AM
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Need_MindBleach     
Also, there weren't such few natives and such massive tracts of empty land because the natives didn't know how the use the land, which is what the Europeans thought and used to justify taking it from them, it was empty because everyone had farking died.

22 Nov 2012 10:44 AM
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namegoeshere     
No. No they didn't first land in Plymouth. No. Just no.

Freakin' Schoolhouse Rock, Peanuts, and every school district outside of eastern MA are lying to you, people. LYING!

They landed in PROVINCETOWN. Not Plymouth. Provincetown. The Mayflower Compact was signed in Provincetown Harbor. They first drank fresh water from the spring in North Truro. They first met the natives on First Encounter Beach. They first stole from the natives on Corn Hill.

Plymouth came later.

/Watching Peanuts
//Frustrated
/// What, they get the plague right and leave out Provincetown??

22 Nov 2012 09:08 PM
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Lsherm    [TotalFark]  

Need_MindBleach: Lsherm: It's estimated as many as nine out of 10 coastal Indians were killed in the epidemic between 1616 and 1619.

I'm having a hard time deciding if this is going to make me feel more guilty or less guilty this Thanksgiving. After all, we didn't do it on purpose.

The knowledge that ~90% of American Indians were killed by European diseases has been old news for decades. The American Indians didn't lose their lands because they sucked at fighting so much, they lost their lands because they had just been through the goddamn apocalypse and didn't have anywhere near the numbers to fight off the invading whites.


Uh, depends on the century and the location.

24 Nov 2012 05:37 PM
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