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How to be a First Aid Hero (aka 10 Things to Avoid)

Apparently, helping the sick means not taking your med school cues from the movies. In fact, the Ririan Project has compiled a pretty great list of the Top 10 things you ought not to do, including peeing on jellyfish stings and sucking on snakebites. Of course, my favorite of the group is this one:

5. Slapping a Raw Steak on a Black Eye
In the movies, you always see someone put a raw steak over their black eye. While it may feel good, the grease from the steak might get into the eye, causing more inflammation. "The only medical merit this has is if it's a cold steak," says Flip Homansky, M.D., who's seen his share of shiners in his work for the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which regulates Las Vegas's boxing bouts. "The cold will decrease swelling, but there is no enzyme or anything else in a raw steak that will help otherwise." The fact that the steak, compared with blocks of ice or ice cubes, can be formed to fit over the eye is another benefit, but a cheaper and less bacteria-prone solution is a bag of frozen peas, or crushed ice in a plastic bag wrapped in a towel. And remember, you will still end up with bruising.

Ugh! Somehow it had never occurred to me that meat grease could slide into your eye and cause an infection. In any case, I've never had to worry about such things. Being a vegetarian, I've only got slabs of tofu in my freezer, which I'm pretty certain no one wants pressed up against their face. Link via the ever-fantastic Neatorama

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History
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]

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holidays
Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)
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For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, UglyChristmasSweater.com 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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