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The skinny

The skinny: Tobacco, liquor were just what the doctor ordered

Ship ahoy!

Tobacco, liquor just what the doctor ordered

Tobacco smoke was a cure for drowning, rum was a tonic for tarantula bites and brandy was good for almost anything, according to medical tips from historical Royal Navy notebooks made available in Britain on Friday. The tips, from the 18th and 19th centuries, describe the gruesome illnesses suffered by the crew and doctors' eccentric attempts to cure them. Ben Lara, the surgeon aboard HMS Princess Royal in 1802, pumped tobacco smoke into the lungs of a seaman who fell into the English Channel in winter and was submerged for 12 minutes. It worked. Belgrave Ninnis, a senior surgeon on HMS Garnet in 1880, tried several treatments on a sailor. "Brandy injected into the rectum and strychnine at the epigastrium (the area just below the heart), brandy and ammonia to wet his mouth," he wrote. Alas, the patient died.

wrong number

Looking for kids, they get adult chat

Tennessee residents who wanted to become foster parents were mistakenly directed to a sex line, prompting the state Department of Children's Services to issue a reminder about giving out the correct number. Those who want to become foster parents can call toll-free 1-877-DCS-KIDS. But dialing a different access code could lead to some embarrassment and a reminder that talking about sex costs anywhere from 99 cents to $2.99 per minute. The problem is not uncommon: New Yorkers are finding that a phone sex company has taken over the former toll-free number — an 800 line — used by the New York state Department of Motor Vehicles that is still listed in older DMV manuals.

Naked dash

Fences thwart inmate's plans

A Phoenix jail inmate was left wearing nothing but pink socks after scaling five fences in an escape attempt before he was captured. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says Clayton Thornburg, 24, suffered cuts on parts of his body since some of the fences are 15 feet high and topped with razor wire. The wire had stripped away Thornburg's jail uniform and pink underwear by the time he reached the last fence Thursday morning. The escape attempt could add five years to his stay in jail.

Sniffing out crime

Every few days, burglars shower

Thieves in Elroy, Ariz. — what's with Arizona, the weather? — made a clean getaway. The Pinal County Sheriff's Office said that in two recent burglaries, thieves entered homes, made a mess, stole things and took showers. In the first robbery on Sept. 20, two men stole food and water after taking a shower and using the toilet. Either they, or other thieves, did the same thing Tuesday. If it is the same pair, that means they go eight days between showers and should be easy for bloodhounds to follow.

Compiled from Times wires and other sources.

The skinny: Tobacco, liquor were just what the doctor ordered 10/01/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 1, 2010 9:04pm]
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