The Quick 10: 10 Remedies King Henry VIII Tried That You Probably Want to Avoid

If you like this list, check out the book it came from—5 People Who Died During Sex by Karl Shaw. It's very flossy. You'd love it.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm going through a Tudor phase right now... OK, I have been for the past couple of years. Ever since I read The Other Boleyn Girl, I just can't get enough. However, after reading about Henry VIII's "remedies" for his numerous ailments, I think I may have finally reached my limit.

The Quick 10: 10 Remedies King Henry VIII Tried That You Probably Want to Avoid

1. Asthma: Swallow Young frogs or live spiders coated in butter. Protein, I guess, but I fail to see how it would help your breathing. I may suggest this to my asthmatic husband, though.
2. Gout: Boil a red-haired dog in oil, add worms and marrow from pig bones. Apply. My red-haired dog just arched his eyebrows at me.
3. Headache: Rub the forehead with a rope used to hang a criminal. Hey, I've had some headaches so bad that I would have tried anything to make it go away.
4. Rheumatism: Wear the skin of a donkey.
5. Jaundice: Drink a pint of ale containing nine drowned head lice every morning for a week. I'd be willing to try that, minus the lice.
6. Bubonic plague: Hold a live chicken against the sores until the bird dies. How, exactly, do you hold a live chicken still until it dies??
7. Whooping cough: Find a ferret, feed it with milk, then give the leftover milk to the sick child.
8. Warts: Lay half a mouse on the wart for half an hour and then bury it in the ground. As the mouse rots, the wart will vanish. The question, obviously, is which half?
9. Baldness: Rub dog or horse urine into the scalp. You know, this might be one of the saner baldness remedies I've heard of.
10. Deafness: Mix the gallstone of a hare and the grease of a fox, warm the result and place it in the ear. ...What is the "grease" of a fox?

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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