September 25, 2014
This Week In The Civil War For
Weeks Of September 21 & 28
This Week in the Civil War - This series marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War draws primarily from wartime dispatches credited to The Associated Press or other accounts distributed through the AP and other historical sources.
Editors Note Primary sources for the series are historic newspaper databases and other archival records.
This Week in The Civil War for Sunday, Sept. 21: More fighting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
Confederates freshly defeated at the Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia, erected defensive works at Fisher’s Hill in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. A smaller battle was fought Sept. 21-22, 1864, with the Union taking the offensive against Southern cavalry before crashing through Southern infantry lines. Confederate Jubal A. Early was forced to retreat with his troops southward down the Shenandoah Valley. Meanwhile, news of the Union victory at Winchester reached Northern troops, eliciting cheers. The Associated Press reported on Sept. 20, 1864, that there was a raucous celebration among Union troops of the Army of the Potomac when they got word of developments in Winchester. AP reported: ``The news of the victory in the Valley was read to the troops along the lines this afternoon, and was received with unbounded enthusiasm and repeated cheering. A salute of one hundred shotted guns will be fired tomorrow at daylight, in honor of the victory.’’ AP added that Confederate desertion appeared on the rise. It added that some Confederate deserters told had they had recently obtained fresh beef from livestock sezied in the countryside. The report also said some rebel pickets close to Union forces were offering to trade their fresh beef for Union coffee and other supplies.
This Week in The Civil War for Sunday, Sept. 28: Lull in fighting near Petersburg, Virginia.
The Associated Press reported on Sept. 28, 1864, 150 years ago during the Civil War, that relative calm prevailed for a few days amid a longstanding Union siege at Petersburg, Virginia, not far from the Confederate capital of Richmond. ``Quiet still prevails in front of Petersburg, broken only by the usual picket firing and occasional artillery duels, the effect of which is to consume a large quantity of powder.’’ The AP dispatch added that heavy firing could still be heard in bursts from the area around the James River and there were reports of large groups of Confederate cavalry on the move, their war aims unclear. The Union besieged Petersburg as crucial Confederate supply point 25 miles to the south of Richmond. The siege would drag on nearly until the end of the war before Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant would cut through and hasten the end of the war in 1865.
Sticking Pork Up A Kid’s Nose Stops Bleeding: Ig Noble Awards
By MARK PRATT
Boston (AP) There’s some truth to the effectiveness of folk remedies and old wives’ tales when it comes to serious medical issues, according to findings by a team from Detroit Medical Center.
Dr. Sonal Saraiya and her colleagues in Michigan found that packing strips of cured pork in the nose of a child who suffers from uncontrollable, life-threatening nosebleeds can stop the hemorrhaging, a discovery that won them a 2014 Ig Nobel prize, the annual award for sometimes inane, yet often surprisingly practical, scientific discoveries.
This year’s winners honored Thursday at Harvard University by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine included a team of researchers who wondered if owning a cat was bad for your mental health; Japanese scientists who tested whether banana peels are really as slippery as cartoons would have us believe; and Norwegian biologists who tested whether reindeer on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard were frightened by humans dressed to resemble polar bears.
As has become the custom, real Nobel laureates handed out the prizes and winners were given a maximum of 60 seconds to deliver their acceptance speech,
Sticking pork products up the patient’s nose was a treatment of last resort when conventional treatments had failed, Saraiya said, and was only used for a very specific condition known as Glanzmann thrombasthenia, a rare condition in which blood does not properly clot.
Hello - I’m here to help
``We had to do some out-of-the-box thinking,’’ she said. ``So that’s where we put our heads together and thought to the olden days and what they used to do.’’
The 4-year-old child’s nostrils were packed with cured pork twice, and according to their study, ``the nasal vaults successfully stopped nasal hemorrhage promptly (and) effectively.’’
The method worked because ``there are some clotting factors in the pork ... and the high level of salt will pull in a lot of fluid from the nose,’’ she said.
Still, Soraiya does not recommend sticking pork up your nose for a routine nosebleed, as it could cause infection.
Kiyoshi Mabuchi, a professor of biomedical engineering at Kitasato University in Japan, studied the slipperiness of banana peels as an extension of his research into human joint lubrication system.
``I have gotten ... evidence that the friction under banana peels is sufficiently low to make us slip,’’ Mabuchi said via email.
The other good thing about his study is that his colleagues got to eat the bananas.
Several scientists won for studying the mental health of cat owners. The bottom line? Owning a cat may be hazardous to your health.
Dr. David Hanauer, of the department of pediatrics at the University of Michigan and co-author of one of the studies, says there’s no reason for cat owners to panic.
``It may simply be that people with depression gets cats because they feel depressed,’’ he said. ``I am in no way telling people to get rid of their cats.’’
Professor Kang Lee at the University of Toronto in Canada was part of a team that won for studying the reactions of people who see human faces in slices of toast. Although the title of the study was called ``Seeing Jesus in Toast,’’ no actual images of Jesus were shown. But the study found that in people who merely think they see a face in a slice of toast _ or in any other unusual object _ the part of the brain involved in facial recognition lights up.
Although his research has legitimate scientific value, he said he’s thrilled to win an Ig Nobel.