March 31, 2018
This is NOT small potatoes!
Comic Richard Belzer has brought this up. Why did so many people starve to death during the Irish potato famine? Because... Ireland being an island... by definition, it is surrounded by fish. So the Irish were dying because...they wouldn't eat fish.
Current seafood harvests from Irish waters are touted as including salmon, trout and shellfish. The foo foo eateries ballyhoo their oysters, and many styles of edible seaweed.
But,,,between 1845 and 1852, a succession of years of potato blight drove the Irish to emigrate. Ireland had about 8 million people, and about 3 million were dependent (almost entirely) on the potato for food. That's 3 million. In addition, the potato crop supported landowners, and had political ramifications, as does any cash crop.
Potatoes went rotten, and were not fit to eat. People went hungry. More than 1 million people starved to death. Many more got sick. There are several diseases that accompany malnutrition and starvation. In Ireland, one in four people died or emigrated.
Other than fish... they had deer, birds, berries, acorns, and their domestic flocks. Ian York, biologist, says a person would need to eat the equivalent of 2 deer a year. 3 million times 2 is 6 million deer. Grouse and ducks, 450 million. Acorns, assuming 25 lbs. of nuts per tree, with less than half of those being the edible parts, about a million trees. About 100,000 acres.
This would cover those 3 million people for 1 year.
But deer are not native to Ireland—they have about 20,000 right now. And by the mid-1800s, Ireland's mixed-use forests were down to 100,000 acres. That's of all trees; that's not just oak-only forest.
And we're talking one year's worth of food for 3 million people.
Berries, smaller birds like ducks and grouse and pigeons, bulbs, and some wild grain would be used to supplement... but remember, they've got 3 million inexperienced people out foraging. Imagine hunting for small birds and tubers with that many people scouring the countryside.
Clambering around. Angering the leprechauns.
Better to emigrate. Most of the emigrants went to Australia, the USA, Canada, and South Wales. ( They went to Scotland too, but it had its own potato blight problem. ) One in five who made the TransAtlantic trip died en route.
Their numbers increased city populations by up to 24% . They settled in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore. They arrived skinny, sick, and broke, but they had to get work right away.
They also settled in Boston. Famous for its.....seafood.
You've heard people say that someone they don't like “thinks with his daddy parts.”
Recently., doctors in Japan found a one-inch diameter growth of cerebellum cells... inside of a tumor... in the ovary of a teenage girl. The cells of the growth were highly organized, and appeared to be a cerebellum. The cerebellum coordinates balance and muscle control.
(I must have the same problem. Misplaced cerebellum. That would explain my, er, episodes of lack of coordination. Up to now, I was blaming sneaky table legs that pop out just long enough for me to stub a toe, then ricochet back to their former position.)
This girl's cerebellum cells were getting on so well, they were starting to develop dendrites. Dendrites are cell connectors. NEXT to the cerebellum mass was something resembling a brain stem. Brain stems connect the brain to the spinal cord.
Clearly, an extra brain was intending to take up residence in this poor girl. She hadn't noticed any negative symptoms from this brain before the surgery. (Of course, brains are notoriously sneaky.)
You know how hard it is for some people to make up ONE mind. Imagine this little brain, unconnected to eyes and ears and other deliverers of information, throwing in its two cents when the poor girl was trying to decide between boyfriends.
Or job offers.
Gives a whole new slant on “being of two minds.”
The first link below does not put forth anyone's theory of what caused this. I'm thinking “unabsorbed twin.”
The second link below describes that sort of thing. It is NOT for you if you are faint-hearted.
You've been warned.