Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Creepy History

Quickie update first: our premiere podcast should go live sometime this week; I'm trying to figure out how to splice in music for the opening and closing, then we'll upload, etc. Big big thanks (and blame) to Mike from the Cadaver Lab Podcast; thankfully he knows what he's doing, because Cins and I so do not. We'll post here when the episode goes live.

I've bitched endlessly in previous posts that I am a history major with the burgeoning carpal tunnel to prove it. Truthfully, I love history, and am very glad in my four year degree program of choice; it really is fascinating. It's also frequently morbid as hell. Try learning about Ivan IV of Russia-- you'll see why he earned his title of "Ivan the Terrible". Look up what happened to the first "False Dmitri" in Russian history-- it's gruesome and also, because I'm a ghoul, hilarious. It involves his ashes, a canon, and Poland!

In one of my current classes this quarter we've focused on the 1919 Influenza epidemic. This killed more Americans than all of the wars of the 20th century combined. Some 20 to 40 million people are estimated to have died in this pandemic, and the terrifying fact is that it came out of no where, went with the American Doughboys to WWI, infected who knows how many, enemy and ally alike, then mutated (and also killed more American troops than European combat did), came back, and continued to spread, spread, spread.

The most chilling part? The stories of kids playing on stacked caskets, pretending they were pyramids, and the jump rope rhyme that kids came up with:

"I had a little bird,
his name was Enza,
I opened up the window,
and in flew Enza!"

This is, for me, creepier than the rhyme from the Nightmare on Elm Street series. How hard would your blood curdle if you heard kids singing that one while jumping rope? When we did it as kids the worst thing I remember happening is Cinderella kissing a snake on accident, but at least she immediately got medical help in the jump rope rhyme. By the way, if you get that, you are hardcore, playground awesome!

This is just proof that sometimes, reality is scarier than anything we can dream up in fiction.


Nojh said...

And that is why reality makes for awesome fiction when turned on its side.

Spooky Bill said...

Awesome! I can' wait to hear your podcast! Mike really does know what he's doing.

Stac said...

Noj:Oh yes indeed! I'm so going to use this, I just have no idea yet in what. ;)

Spooky Bill: Thanks, we're glad to have you as a listener! Mike's a really nice guy! When he's not out kicking nuns and molesting puppies, I mean. ;)