500 Profitable Ways To Spend Your Idle Moments
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Not Quite Right

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If you are a male, and you wish to be irresistible to females, tie the udder of a hyena around your left arm. So says a custom from ancient Greece.

I have heard that planting marigolds in your garden will keep deer away. I tried it. The deer ate my marigolds.

Evidently the Pilgrims had a unique gadget that was used in church to keep members of the congregation awake. It was a wooden ball on a string. It was used to bop people on the head who were drifting off during the seven-hour-long sermons.

A fellow in Montana gave his daughter a 622-letter long name. His purpose: To tangle up and crash bureaucratic computers!

I found these instructions in a manual about a computer programming language. Perhaps because of wording like this there are not more programmers than there are:

Look at the first compare of the second group of compare statements. The expression "r != s" will evaluate as a "true" since "r" was set to 0.0 above, so the result will be a non-zero value, probably 1. Even though the two variables that are compared are "float" variables, the result will be of type "integer." There is no explicit variable to which it will be assigned so the result of the compare is an implied integer. Finally the resulting number, 1 in this case, is assigned to the integer variable "x". If double equal signs were used, the phantom value, namely 1, would be compared to the value of "x", but since the single equal sign is used, the value 1 is simply assigned to "x", as though the statement were not in parentheses.

Finally, since the result of the assignment in the parentheses was non-zero, the entire expression is evaluated as "true", and "z" is assigned the value of 1000. Thus we accomplished two things in this statement, we assigned "x" a new value, probably 1, and we assigned "z" the value of 1000. We covered a lot in this statement so you may wish to review it before going on. The important things to remember are the values that define "true" and "false", and the fact that several things can be assigned in a conditional statement. The value assigned to "x" was probably a 1 but different compilers may assign a different value as long as it is non-zero.

Continuing on to the fourth example of the third group we find three assignment statements in the compare part of the "if" statement. If you understood the above discussion, you should have no difficulty understanding that the three variables are assigned their respective new values, and the result of all three are non-zero, leading to a resulting value of "TRUE."

Fashion: 3,500 years ago, not only did women in Egypt remove all the hair from their heads, they also polished their heads to a mirror-like finish. It would have been easier if they had Lemon Pledge in those days.

At one time in Japan, fashionable women painted their teeth black.

Some women in India paint their teeth bright red.

Mayan Indians used to shape their teeth. They would make their front teeth pointed and carve holes into which were mounted jewels.

In the late 1500's, among the people of England, sadness became fashionable. People practiced and preened in the art of acting melancholy. To dress all in black was common.

The following was found in a book written in 1858:

"Female dress: It is well known that a loose and easy dress contributes much to give the sex the fine proportions of body that are observable in the Grecian statues, and which serve as models to our present artists, nature being too much disfigured among us to afford any such. The Greeks knew nothing of those Gothic shackles, that multiplicity of ligatures and bandages with which our bodies are compressed. Their women were ignorant of the use of whalebone-stays, by which ours distort their shape instead of displaying it. This practice, carried to so great an excess as it is in America, must in time degenerate the species, and is an instance of bad taste. Can it be a pleasant sight to behold a woman cut in two in the middle, as it were like a wasp? On the contrary, it is as shocking to the eye as it is painful to the imagination. A fine shape, like the limb, hath its due size and proportion, a diminution of which is certainly a defect. Such a deformity also would be shocking in a naked figure; wherefore, then, should it be esteemed a beauty in one that is dressed? Everything that confines and lays nature under a restraint is an instance of bad taste. This is as true in regard to the ornaments of the body as to the embellishments of the mind. Life, health, reason, and convenience, ought of be taken first into consideration. Gracefulness cannot subsist without ease; delicacy is not debility; nor must a woman be sick in order to please."

(This is no longer considered correct)

"Drowning: Attend to the following essential rules: 1. Lose no time. 2. Handle the body gently. 3. Carry the body with the head gently raised, and never hold it up by the feet. 4. Send for medical assistance immediately, and in the meantime act as follows: 1. Strip the body, rub it dry: then rub it in hot blankets, and place it in a warm bed in a warm room. 2. Cleanse away the froth and mucus from the nose and mouth. 3. Apply warm bricks, bottles, bags of sand, &c. to the arm-pits, between the thighs and soles of the feet. 4. Rub the surface of the body with the hands enclosed in warm dry worsted socks. 5. If possible, put the body into a warm bath. 6. To restore breathing, put the pipe of a common bellows into one nostril, carefully closing the other and the mouth; at the same time drawing downwards, and pushing gently backwards the upper part of the windpipe, to allow a more free admission of air; blow the bellows gently, in order to inflate the lungs, till the breast be raised a little; then set the mouth and nostrils free, and press gently on the chest; repeat this until signs of life appear. When the patient revives, apply smelling-salts to the nose, give warm wine or brandy and water. "Cautions: 1. Never rub the body with salt or spirits. 2. Never roll the body on casks. 3. Continue the remedies for twelve hours without ceasing."

In case good, old-fashioned medicine makes a comeback, you may need to know how to leach someone. Here are your instructions:

"Leeches and their application: The leech used for medical purposes is called the hirudo Medicinatis, to distinguish it from other varieties, such as the horse-leech and the Lisbon leech. It varies from two to four inches in length, and is of a blackish brown colour, marked on the back with six yellow spots, and edged with a fellow line on each side. Formerly leeches were supplied by Sweden but latterly most of the leeches are procured from France, where they are now becoming scarce.

When leeches are applied to a part, it should be thoroughly freed from down or hair by shaving, and all liniments, &c., carefully and effectually cleaned away by washing. If the leech is hungry it will soon bite, but sometimes great difficulty is experienced in getting them to fasten on. When this is the case, roll the leech into a little porter, or moisten the surface with a little blood, or milk, or sugar and water, Leeches may be applied by holding them over the port with a piece of linen cloth or by means of an inverted glass, under which they must be placed.

When applied to the gums, care should be taken to use a leech glass, as they are apt to creep down the patient's throat; a large swan's quill will answer the purpose of a leech glass. When leeches are gorged they will drop off themselves; never tear them off from a person, but just dip the point of a moistened finger into some salt and touch them with it. Leeches are supposed to abstract about two drachms of blood, or six leeches draw about an ounce; but this is independent of the bleeding after they have come off, and more blood generally flows then than during the time they are sucking."

That old book tells us this - some of these suggestions are good today, but the reasoning is better these days. This is clearly evidenced in the following rules:

"Rules for the preservation of health: Pure atmospheric air is composed of nitrogen, oxygen, and a very small proportion of carbonic acid gas. Air once breathed has lost the chief part of its oxygen, and acquired a proportionate increase of carbonic acid gas. Therefore, health requires that we breath the same air once only.

The solid part of our bodies are continually wasting, and requires to be repaired by fresh substances. Therefore, food, which is to repair the loss, should be taken with due regard to the exercise and waste of the body. 

The fluid part of our bodies also wastes constantly; there is but one fluid in animals, which is water. Therefore, water only is necessary, and no artifice can produce a better drink. 

The fluid of our bodies is to the solid in proportion as nine to one. Therefore, a like proportion should prevail in the total amount of food taken.

Light exercises an important influence upon the growth and vigour of animals and plants. Therefore, our dwellings should freely admit the solar rays.

Decomposing animal and vegetable substances yield various noxious gases, which enter the lungs and corrupt the blood. Therefore, all impurities should be kept away from our abodes, and every precaution be observed to secure a pure atmosphere.

Warmth is essential to all the bodily functions. Therefore, an equal bodily temperature should be maintained by exercise, by clothing, or by fire.

Exercise warms, invigorates, and purifies the body; clothing preserves the warmth the body generates; fire imparts warmth externally. Therefore, to obtain and preserve warmth, exercise and clothing are preferable to fire.

Fire consumes the oxygen of the air, and produces noxious gases. Therefore, the air is less pure in the presence of candles, gas, or coal fire, than otherwise, and the deterioration should be repaired by increased ventilation.

The skin is a highly-organized membrane, full of minute pores, cells, blood-vessels, and nerves; it imbibes moisture or throws it off, according to the state of the atmosphere and the temperature of the body. It also "breathes," as to the lungs (though less actively). All the internal organs sympathise with the skin. Therefore, it should be repeatedly cleansed.

Late hours and anxious pursuits exhaust the nervous system, and produce disease and premature death. Therefore, the hours of labour and study should be short.

Mental and bodily exercise are equally essential to the general health and happiness. Therefore, labour and study should succeed each other.

Man will live most healthily upon simple solids and fluids, of which a sufficient but temperate quantity should be taken. Therefore, strong drinks, tobacco, snuff, opium, and all mere indulgences should be avoided.

Sudden alternations of heat and cold are dangerous (especially to the young and the aged). Therefore, clothing, in quantity and quality, should be adapted to the alterations of night and day, and of the seasons. And, therefore, also, drinking cold water when the body is hot, and hot tea and soups when cold, are productive of many evils.

Moderation in eating and drinking, short hours of labour and study, regularity in exercise, recreation, and rest, cleanliness, equanimity of temper and equality of temperature, these are the great essentials to that which surpasses all wealth, health of mind and body."

"Daughters: Mothers, who wish not only to discharge well their own duties in the domestic circle, but to train up their daughters at a later day to make happy and comfortable firesides for their families, should watch well, and guard well, the notions which they imbibe and with which they grow up. There will be so many persons ready to fill their young heads with false and vain fancies, and there is so much always afloat in society opposed to duty and common sense, that if mothers do not watch well, they may contract ideas very fatal to their future happiness and usefulness, and hold them till they grow into habits of thought or feeling. A wise mother will have her eyes open, and be ready for every case."

About one out of every 120 Americans have some form of epilepsy.

A common misbelief is that you are supposed to jam a spoon into an epileptic victim's mouth when having convulsions. This is wrong and it may lead to a broken tooth, or an injury to the person administering the 'care.'

In a magazine article, one epileptic described his seizures this way: "A seizure is like flushing a toilet in your brain." (296)

Before giving up on a patient they couldn't cure, doctors in the Middle East used to display that patient in the center of town, in case anyone passing by might be able to speak up with a cure.

Take care! - Jeff

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How accurate, relevant and well-written is this website? If you find any inaccuracies, typos, or have suggestions, I'd really appreciate hearing about it. Drop me a line at jeff@jeffnapier.com" Thanks! - Jeff




































































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