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Garth Holman

BBC News - 'Gerbils replace rats' as main cause of Black Death - 2 views

  • If we're right, we'll have to rewrite that part of history."
  • The Black Death, which originated in Asia, arrived in Europe in 1347 and caused one of the deadliest outbreaks in human history.
  • It had been thought that black rats were responsible for allowing the plague to establish in Europe, with new outbreaks occurring when fleas jumped from infected rodents to humans.
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  • They compared tree-ring records from Europe with 7,711 historical plague outbreaks to see if the weather conditions would have been optimum for a rat-driven outbreak.
  • "We show that wherever there were good conditions for gerbils and fleas in central Asia, some years later the bacteria shows up in harbour cities in Europe and then spreads across the continent," Prof Stenseth said. He said that a wet spring followed by a warm summer would cause gerbil numbers to boom.
  • And because this was a period when trade between the East and West was at a peak, the plague was most likely brought to Europe along the silk road, Prof Stenseth explained.
  • "Suddenly we could sort out a problem. Why did we have these waves of plagues in Europe?
  • The team now plans to analyse plague bacteria DNA taken from ancient skeletons across Europe. If the genetic material shows a large amount of variation, it would suggest the team's theory is correct.
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    This article calls into question how the plague was moved from Asia to Europe..not fleas, but Gerbils:) 
mukul g

Poe's Life | Edgar Allan Poe Museum - 1 views

    • mukul g
       
      He is separated from his brothers and sisters!!!!!
  • . Griswold followed the obituary with a memoir in which he portrayed Poe as a drunken, womanizing madman with no morals and no friends.  Griswold’s attacks were meant to cause the public to dismiss Poe and his works, but the biography had exactly the opposite effect and instead drove the sales of Poe’s books higher than they had ever been during the author’s lifetime.
  • Days after Poe’s death, his literary rival Rufus Griswold wrote a libelous obituary of the author in a misguided attempt at revenge for some of the offensive things Poe had said and written about him
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  • The real Poe was born to traveling actors in Boston on January 19, 1809
  • Two years later he heard that Frances Allan, the only mother he had ever known, was dying of tuberculosis and wanted to see him before she died. By the time Poe returned to Richmond she had already been buried. Poe and Allan briefly reconciled, and Allan helped Poe gain an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. 
  • Humiliated by his poverty and furious with Allan for not providing enough funds in the first place, Poe returned to Richmond and visited the home of his fiancée Elmira Royster, only to discover that she had become engaged to another man in Poe’s absence.
  • Before going to West Point, Poe published another volume of poetry
  • . After only eight months at West Point Poe was thrown out, but he soon published yet another book.
  • Within three years of Poe’s birth both of his parents had died, and he was taken in by the wealthy tobacco merchant John Allan and his wife Frances Valentine Allan in Richmond, Virginia while Poe’s siblings went to live with other families.
  • Poe was living in poverty but had started publishing his short stories
  • “Panic of 1837,” Poe struggled to find magazine work and wrote his only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. 
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