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Workers unearth 'Black Death' plague pit


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#16    smokeycat

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:38 PM

View Postealdwita, on 15 March 2013 - 05:41 PM, said:

Yes, I agree up to a point. As far as the 'Black Death' was concerned, most historians have gone along with traditional opinions and have opted for Bubonic-type plague, spread by the rat flea. but there are other schools of thought....for instance, in 2000, biologist Gunnar Karlsson pointed out that the Black Death killed between half and two-thirds of the population of Iceland, although there were no rats in Iceland at this time. Historian Norman F. Cantor suggests, in his 2001 book In the Wake of the Plague, that the Black Death might have been a combination of pandemics including a form of anthrax, a cattle murrain. He cites many forms of evidence including reported disease symptoms not in keeping with the known effects of either bubonic or pneumonic plague, the discovery of anthrax spores in a plague pit in Scotland, and the fact that meat from infected cattle was known to have been sold in many rural English areas prior to the onset of the plague.

As I said though, most historians go along with bubonic rather than either pneumonic or anthrax pandemics.

Still, the majority of historians support the theory that the bubonic plague caused the black death, so counterarguments have been developed.
The uncharacteristically rapid spread of the plague could be due to respiratory droplet transmission, and low levels of immunity in that period's European population. Historical examples of pandemics of other diseases in populations without previous exposure, such as smallpox and tuberculosis transmitted by aerosol amongst indigenous peoples of the Americas, show that the low levels of inherited adaptation to the disease cause the first epidemic to spread faster and to be far more virulent than later epidemics among the descendants of survivors. Also, the plague returned again and again and was regarded as the same disease through succeeding centuries into modern times when the Yersinia pestis bacterium was identified.


#17    praetorian-legio XIII

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:49 PM

View PostPersonFromPorlock, on 15 March 2013 - 03:47 PM, said:

Another peeve of mine along the same lines: reports where metric measurements are - brainlessly - converted to 'English' standards, so that "about three metres" becomes "about 9.84 feet."

About 3 meters is about 9.84 feet. Whereas 3 meters equals 9.84375 feet.

Basically a meter equates to our yard, but is exactly (39 3/8")

The trouble I think americans have with the metric system is although it is a better system because all facets of it are based on multiples of 10 regardless if its a distance or a weight or a liquid measurement is they can't visualize it. Someone says its 3" long they can "see it" but when it 75 centimeters they can't "see it" in their minds.


#18    praetorian-legio XIII

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 09:53 PM

And aren't the US and England the only countries in the world not using the metric system?


#19    Queen in the North

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 10:08 PM

View Postpraetorian-legio XIII, on 15 March 2013 - 09:53 PM, said:

And aren't the US and England the only countries in the world not using the metric system?
It's kind of a mix... inches, cm, pints, litres, miles, kilometres... I don't even know what the offical 'system' is to be actually.

Though I think more people would know roughly what you meant if you said an inch, or a foot, than 2.5cm or 30cm.

ETA: UK, that is.

Edited by Queen in the North, 15 March 2013 - 10:09 PM.

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#20    Nasty Gash

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 10:20 PM

View Postpraetorian-legio XIII, on 15 March 2013 - 09:53 PM, said:

And aren't the US and England the only countries in the world not using the metric system?

All countries that engage in international aviation use nautical miles and knots for that purpose.  This likely applies to all countries that have aircraft even if they are used only internally.
Also, precious metals are usually measured in Troy ounces ("ozt" = ~31.1 gm) and precious gems in carats ("ct" = 200 mg).  I suppose that since the carat is defined as 200 mg, it doesn't qualify strictly as "non-metric".

There likely are more non-metric units in common or "official" use.  Anyone want to provide more?


#21    Frank Merton

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 07:27 AM

So, not actually "difficult to establish," but more like, "unlikely and not supported by the evidence."  Human population, at least in Europe, did not show the cycles but instead occasional crashes brought on by actual diseases or famines, not brought on by too many people.

One is tempted to apply that to the modern situation, where so many are asserting that there are too many people, which is bound in Malthusian terms to bring on a disaster.  Perhaps that is not exactly how it all works.


#22    Lava_Lady

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 07:51 AM








I was also under the impression that all of Europe used the metric system....  Shows how much I know about Europe.  But, I learned something new.  ;)  so, thank you!

Edited by Lava_Lady, 16 March 2013 - 07:56 AM.

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#23    gnostic-deity

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 07:54 AM

i remember a thing on ancient aliens (and we all know how true that show is lol) about how black hooded figures were seen during the time of the plague, and were seen to be spreading a substance in fields and air etc. kinda like a biological weapon. i dunno. its kinda creepy i guess.

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#24    27vet

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:06 AM

View Postpraetorian-legio XIII, on 15 March 2013 - 09:53 PM, said:

And aren't the US and England the only countries in the world not using the metric system?

The press often use elephants : "A Jumbo Jet, which weighs the equivalent of 30,000 elephants, took off on its maiden flight...." (from one of  Dr Karl's podcasts.)

If the black death did not happen, would it have made a difference to anything today?


#25    Frank Merton

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:04 AM

I dare say since I have only a vague idea what an elephant might weigh, and 30,000 as a number is outside by comprehension, such a statement tells me nothing more than "real big."


#26    Jinxdom

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:17 AM

View Postgnostic-deity, on 16 March 2013 - 07:54 AM, said:

i remember a thing on ancient aliens (and we all know how true that show is lol) about how black hooded figures were seen during the time of the plague, and were seen to be spreading a substance in fields and air etc. kinda like a biological weapon. i dunno. its kinda creepy i guess.

Reminds me of the Mongols who actually launched bodies of their own men who died of the plague in to cities with catapults.


#27    GirlfromOz

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:27 AM

I remember my grandfather telling me about the bubonic plague hitting  the shores of Sydney Australia in the early 1900's.He told me how he  had contracted it & how he had survived.He was transported to the hospital via a wheelbarrow.My guess was that he survived by being very young & resilient.Most diseases hit a population & take out the weak, frail,ill & aged.The rats had come to our shores & infiltrated our harbours from many cargo ships.The world had a major problem then with the spread of diseases etc from major shipping transport routes.Such would have been the case with the black death,with the spread of disease via a similar explanation that caused a pandemic situation.

Edited by GirlfromOz, 16 March 2013 - 10:48 AM.


#28    Jackofalltrades

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:19 PM

View PostTheLastLazyGun, on 15 March 2013 - 03:34 PM, said:


Lots of plague pits have been found throughout London and the rest of the country over the years, and it's not done anyone any harm.



Yet !

Just because it has not so far does not mean to say that it will not now or in the future

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#29    Frank Merton

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:26 PM

You know bird flue is still lurking about.  Just a week or so ago a man in Cambodia died of it, and there have been several in China.  When a human being gets it, the mortality is very high.

It does appear that it's something more difficult than first feared for it to develop the ability to spread from person to person, so the world has relaxed.  Still, it could happen.

And that is not the only variety of influenza that could turn both deadly and highly infectious.  To my mind this is one of the possible disasters lurking about and the sooner a general influenza vaccine is developed the safer we all will be.


#30    TheLastLazyGun

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:33 PM

View PostPersonFromPorlock, on 15 March 2013 - 03:47 PM, said:

Another peeve of mine along the same lines: reports where metric measurements are - brainlessly - converted to 'English' standards, so that "about three metres" becomes "about 9.84 feet."

Anyone with any common sense would say "ten feet" instead of being so pedantic.

Edited by TheLastLazyGun, 16 March 2013 - 01:39 PM.





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