Questionably effective hangover remedies

As a follow-up to yesterday's blog hailing the famous and the schnockered, we present our very favorite hangover cures that almost certainly don't work and you should by no means attempt. This one goes out to Saint Bibiana -- pictured at left -- Catholicism's patron saint of the hangover. Legend has it that after she was scourged to death by the Romans, headache-curing herbs grew in a garden near her grave. (Tomorrow, look for our top twenty favorite celebrities who met their end by being scourged to death. Yeesh!) In any case, if praying to patron saints ain't your thing, you might try:

eating fried canaries, as Bibiana's Roman scourgers did.
"¢ Sticking 13 pins in the cork of the bottle that did you in, as is custom in Haiti.
"¢ Slurping down a sheep's eye pickled in tomato juice, a cure which hails from Outer Mongolia.
"¢ Rubbing a lemon under your drinking arm, Puerto-Rican style.
"¢ Taking a horrible shower that oscillates between extremely hot and cold water, as seen in The Princess Bride.
"¢ Eating canned asparagus before going to bed, which only has two negative side affects: 1) it makes your pee smell funny, and 2) it acts as a diuretic, and thus exacerbates the dehydration that hangover sufferers experience.
"¢ Eating whole jalapenos, which if nothing else will distract you from the pain in your head while you concentrate on the pain in your mouth.
"¢ Having sex, which purportedly releases enough endorphins into the system to dull the effects of a painful hangover. (Also, sweating can help purge alcohol from your body.) Note: this remedy does not work pre-emptively.
"¢ Drinking what's known as a "prairie oyster": two raw eggs mixed with pepper, Tabasco sauce and gin.

If none of that works, there is one sure-fire cure: not drinking.

The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)

For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.


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