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Countess Eva is Back! Keeping Us Safe from Ourselves

Arsenic trioxide or "white arsenic" is a powder often mixed with vinegar and chalk and used in certain cosmetics and folk medicines. Women actually eat this concoction in order to make their faces paler. (I feel paler already.) Women also rub this substance into their skin. Unfortunately, white arsenic tends to poison women with repeated exposure depending on the dose. Countess Eva Ekeblad of Sweden has been experimenting with alternatives to white arsenic for cosmetics and has hit upon the use of the potato flower as a substitute. Her ultimate goal is to convince the public to actually EAT potatoes, but how hard can this be? They are already eating poison! Using white arsenic as a dietary supplement will continue until 1858 when a Bradford candy-maker will accidentally use white arsenic as a filler. 20 people will die and white arsenic will finally be perceived by the public as a dangerous poison. (It is still used in certain homeopathic cures so use caution.) [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In my younger days I was a professional clown. I was actually on stage at Circus Circus. (For about 5 seconds!) I was taught by professionals, and when you do it right, clowning is serious business. Clown makeup in the old days was miraculous stuff. It spread like the finest cream and held like iron throughout a rough and tumble performance. Unfortunately, it might kill you over time but what profession isn't dangerous? Government regulation finally banned this type of make-up. Nevertheless, I continued to use the last of my old make up until it finally ran out. The new makeup is good. Don't get me wrong, but it is a little tricky to use. From this experience I learned that government regulation is a balancing act. On the one hand, I don't want manufacturers putting dangerous chemicals into cosmetics and foods. On the other hand, regulations cannot protect me from everything including myself. I'm still waiting for the warning label on my dinnerware that reads, "Use caution. Knives are are sharp!" or "Do not stick this fork in your eye!" There are real dangers out there, but as individuals, we need to use our heads for more than just a hat rack. Nothing in life is risk free. The question is, what am I willing to live with or potentially die with? That question has an answer that we confront every time we drive our car or bite down on a sandwich. [7] [8]

Helping the Poor Without Using Taxpayer Money... Directly

Over the years, Benjamin Franklin's discussion group has blossomed into a subscription library, a fire brigade, a neighborhood patrol and the University of Pennsylvania! Individual members of the group are presenting ideas, improving upon them and most importantly ... IMPLEMENTING THEM. Dr. Thomas Bond wants to establish a hospital for the poor and the stranger (meaning non-residents). However, donations are slow. Then Franklin comes up with an idea. Some people want a hospital for their own community needs. Other people want to be charitable, but don't want their donation to be lost in the sinkhole of a building fund, so Franklin proposes to the legislature to build a community hospital ON CONDITION that a private fund be established of a certain size. (Really big.) The interest on that fund will pay the expenses of the poor and the stranger. Thus, by passing a law, the legislature is using the taxpayer's money for the direct benefit of the taxpayer, while getting credit for being charitable, even though they haven't coughed up a single dime for the poor. It also works on the psychology of the donors since their money is helping the poor rather than helping the building fund. It is a win-win! Franklin feels a little bad about using this subterfuge, but not so bad that it prevents him from succeeding at it. [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. This is not exactly the right way to do things based on principle, but it feels right. Public and private funds are technically kept separate. If this was as far as we ever went with something like this, I think most people would be OK with it. You use taxpayer funds for the infrastructure while allowing the funds from charity to be used for that purpose... charity. The problem is that some people think that they can get credit for charity by picking my pocket and forcing me to pay. Paying for a road, a school or a hospital makes sense to me. Even if I don't like a particular road, school or hospital, I can see the logic behind it. Forcing me to pay for your misfortune is different. I understand that bad luck happens. Heck! It happened to me I am now handicapped and home-bound, but I paid EXTRA insurance premiums to cover this very possibility. I wasn't counting on the tax payers to bail me out. (Or not much, anyway.) But the question is: Do I want the government to force everyone to pay big insurance premiums to cover every bad thing that might happen? (Please don't make me use bad words. I'm trying to cut back.)

For Your Information

* George the 3rd becomes heir apparent of Great Britain after his father dies from a sporting injury. [11] [12]
* James Madison is born. He will become the 4th President of the USA and his wife, Dolley Madison, will have nothing to do with cupcakes or twinkies. [12]
* And the beginning of the year is changed from March to January in Great Britain. [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1751, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Eva Ekeblad - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 4 February 2016. “She also discovered a method of bleaching cotton textile and yarn with soap in 1751, and of replacing the dangerous ingredients in cosmetics of the time by using potato flower (1752); she is said to have advertised the plant by using its flowers as hair ornaments.”
  2. Eva Ekeblad - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 4 February 2016. “In 1748, Eva Ekeblad became the first woman elected to Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. There are no records of her ever having participated in the meetings of the Academy. In 1751, the Academy came to refer to her as an honorary rather than a full member, as the statutes confined membership to men.”
  3. Arsenic - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 24 March 2016. “In the Victorian era, 'arsenic' ('white arsenic' or arsenic trioxide) was mixed with vinegar and chalk and eaten by women to improve the complexion of their faces, making their skin paler to show they did not work in the fields. Arsenic was also rubbed into the faces and arms of women to 'improve their complexion'.”
  4. Arsenic trioxide - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 24 March 2016. “Arsenic trioxide is readily absorbed by the digestive system: toxic effects are also well known upon inhalation or upon skin contact. Elimination is rapid at first (half-life of 1–2 days), by methylation to monomethylarsonic acid and dimethylarsonic acid, and excretion in the urine, but a certain amount (30–40% in the case of repeated exposure) is incorporated into the bones, muscles, skin, hair and nails (all tissues rich in keratin) and eliminated over a period of weeks or months.”
  5. White arsenic - definition of White arsenic by Medical dictionary. medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com (2016). Retrieved on 24 March 2016. “arsenic trioxide an oxidized form of arsenic, used in weed killers and rodenticides. It is also administered intravenously as an antineoplastic in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia.”
  6. Beating the blues. British Homeopathic Association (2016). Retrieved on 24 March 2016. “One of the first medicines that I think of when I see someone with all the symp­toms of anxiety with depression, partic­ularly when there are gastric symptoms of indigestion and diarrhoea, combined with panic attacks, is Arsenicum album. This medicine is based on white arsenic which causes severe gastroenteritis if taken in a toxic dose, which is why it can help similar symptoms when taken in a homeopathic potency.”
  7. Mehron Theatre Makeup and Supplies, Professional Theatrical and Stage Makeup, Character Kits'. Mehron.com (2016). Retrieved on 24 March 2016.
  8. Circus Acts. Circus Circus Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (2016). Retrieved on 24 March 2016.
  9. Franklin, Benjamin. Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, The. The Macmillan Company. “In 1751, Dr. Thomas Bond, a particular friend of mine, conceived the idea of establishing a hospital in Philadelphia (a very beneficent design, which has been ascrib'd to me, but was originally his), for the reception and cure of poor sick persons, whether inhabitants of the province or strangers.” 
  10. Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0684807610. “'I do not remember any of my political maneuvers the success of which gave me at the time more pleasure, or that in after thinking about it I more easily excused myself for having made use of cunning.'” 
  11. Frederick, Prince of Wales - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 24 March 2016. “His political ambitions unfulfilled, Frederick died at Cliveden House at the age of 44 in 1751 from a burst abscess in the lung. The abscess has been commonly attributed to a blow by a cricket or a real tennis ball, but this is unproven.[40] He was buried at Westminster Abbey on 13 April 1751.”
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 346-347. 

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