Posts Tagged ‘#howtotuesday’

#howtotuesday: Prevent Yellow Fever

#howtotuesday: Prevent Yellow Fever

Above: sanitary map of the city of New Orleans

Yellow Fever, sometimes called Yellow Jack or Yellow Plague, is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of female mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti species. Most cases of Yellow Fever cause mild symptoms including fever, headache, and chills; however, approximately 15% of cases develop into toxic, severe stages of recurring fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin) due to liver damage, abdominal pain, vomiting, and internal bleeding.

The city of New Orleans was plagued by several epidemics of Yellow Fever during the 19th century, the most deadly in 1853. Sadly, in a single year, 7,849 residents of New Orleans (population: 154,000) succumbed to the illness.

The Yellow Fever epidemic of 1853 led to further study of the viral disease and publication of The Cause and Prevention of Yellow Fever at New Orleans and Other Cities in America, a text investigating “the origin and mode of transmission of the great epidemic of last year, together with all causes affecting the salubrity of the city.”

The publication includes eight foldouts, each employing a map or chart to illustrate data.

Above: chart exhibiting the annual mortality of New Orleans

Local researchers conducted many experiments in an attempt to control the epidemic, including but not limited to, purifying the air by burning tar and firing canons throughout the city (a method only employed once). After identifying mosquitoes as the transmitters of Yellow Fever, efforts were launched to control the breeding of insects, particularly through extensive sanitation–an endeavor largely responsible for ending the crisis.

Interested in learning more about the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1853? Visit us in Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives Monday-Thursday, 9:00-4:30 or Friday, 9:00-12:00 where The Cause and Prevention of Yellow Fever at New Orleans and Other Cities in America and additional texts (like this one) are available for viewing!

I hope each of you have a wonderful holiday weekend (and don’t forget to wear a bit of bug spray)!

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Help Yourself with the Last Self-Help Book

#howtotuesday: Help Yourself with the Last Self-Help Book

Why can you size up Saturn, or a stranger, in 10 seconds—but not yourself, whom you have known all your life?

Why is the Self the only object in the Cosmos which gets bored?

Why is it that the Self—though it professes to be loving, caring, to prefer peace to war, concord to discord, life to death; to wish other selves well, not ill—in fact secretly relishes wars and rumors of war, news of murders, obituaries, to say nothing of local news about acquaintances dropping dead in the street, gossip about neighbors getting in fights or being detected in sexual scandals, embezzlements, and other disgraces?

These are but a tiny sample of the questions posed by Walker Percy in Lost in the Cosmos: The Last-Self Help Book.

Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book is a tongue-in-cheek, mock self-help text containing essays, multiple-choice quizzes, and “thought experiments” authored by past Loyola University New Orleans mentor and professor Walker Percy. The book, Percy’s most popular work of non-fiction, is formatted to satirize standard self-help books while encouraging readers to seriously contemplate their Self and existential situation. Percy embarks upon an array of topics—religion, science, movie trivia, fear, exhilaration, sex, boredom—and discusses both contemporary events and popular figures (e.g. Jonny Carson, Mother Teresa, and Carl Sagan).

Loyola University Special Collections & Archives holds nine copies of Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book—five copies feature the signature (and in a single case, a rather lengthy inscription) of Walker Percy with one additional copy being inscribed by the book’s editor, Robert Giroux.

Are you interested in taking “A Preliminary Short Quiz so that you may determine whether you need to take the Twenty-Question Self-Help Quiz” or courageously embarking upon Percy’s “Twenty-Question Multiple-Choice Self-Help Quiz to test your knowledge of the peculiar status of the self, your self, and other selves, in the Cosmos, and your knowledge of what to do with your self in these, the last years of the twentieth century?” If so, visit Special Collections & Archives Monday-Thursday, 9:00-4:30 or Friday 9:00-12:00!

For further study of Walker Percy, Loyola University Special Collections & Archives holds a significant amount of material relating to the author including the Walker Percy Papers, Percy-Walsh Correspondence, Percy-Romagosa Collection, Percy-Suhor Letters, and Patrick Samway, S.J Papers.

Be a Bachelor (or Bacheloress) in New Orleans

#howtotuesday: Be a Bachelor (or Bacheloress) in New Orleans

With the arrival of summer holidays, pleasure-seekers descend upon New Orleans in full force. Whether you are an “unattached gentlemen or lady of spirit visiting” or perhaps a long-time “resident in the Paris of America,” The Bachelor in New Orleans provides a candid guide to the Crescent City. The charming handbook, printed in 1942 and illustrated with vibrant block prints throughout, launches directly into heart of the matter with “Chapter 1: Of Drink and the Devil,” a guide to New Orleans’ most potent beverages and notable bars (many of which are still in operation today).

Additional chapters provide the Bachelor with instruction on fine dining (“be kind to your food, and it will love you…so will the chef”), curing loneliness, surviving Mardi Gras, and my personal favorite, how not to be a tourist.

According to The Bachelor in New Orleans, in order to avoid the horror of being mistaken as a tourist, one should keep the following don’ts in mind:

  • Never, never kick garbage cans! This is a cardinal sin for Bachelors in New Orleans.
  • Never stand and stare at any happening, no matter how rare, outrageous, unseemly, or unconventional it may strike you. If an unusual happening is pleasant or gay, a New Orleans Bachelor unobtrusively takes part in it; if it is unpleasant, the Bachelor in New Orleans unobtrusively takes part in something else.
  • Never raise your voice above Martha Raye’s level. People across the river and in adjoining parishes have to sleep. In the French Quarter, of course, no one could sleep if a sudden quiet fell in the streets. Bed-occupiers would sit bolt upright, in a cold sweat!
  • Never ask an interesting looking individual if he is an artist. He might be one, in which case he will resent you. And if he is not, he may cause you some embarrassment.
  • Do not attempt to direct traffic or dance bands while over-intoxicated. You will not do your best job if you have had one too many, and a most remarkable and unpleasant snarl may result.

And finally,

  • If you are a male Bachelor, never make what could be considered the first pass at any woman you have not known all your life. If she is interested, or can be satisfactorily interested, she will make the first pass—and if you are a Bachelor in New Orleans, you will know when it happens. This rule does not apply to female Bachelors in New Orleans: being females, they have their own rules about these matters and do what they’re going to do anyway.

At any rate, don’t be a tourist.

For further tips on thriving in 1940’s New Orleans, visit the Special Collections & Archives to peruse The Bachelor in New Orleans in full.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.