Fungus cause of Irish Potato Famine

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Fungus cause of Irish Potato Famine - zFungus the root cause f Irish Potato Famine K...
zFungus the root cause f Irish Potato Famine K By CHRISTOPHER BENNETT C- Special to the Herald )f One reader asks, "What is the p'rish Potato Famine?" J Is there a simple hinswer to this question? K I was a little LStunned when this rquestion came ia I rfiope teachers still touch on the Irish "Potato Famine in lessons on immigration in grade and high school. Like the Peloponnesian War, the Irish Potato Famine is an event in history not discussed nearly enough. What follows is the simple explanation. There are numerous political, cultural and social drivers surrounding the famine I'm not going to touch on them all. The population of Ireland in . 1841 numbered 8.2 million. It numbered 6.5 million by 1851, and famine is the reason. The famine began with a blight of the potato crop that left acre upon acre of Irish farmland covered with black rot. The 'potato blight fungus -Phytophthora infestans -attacked potatoes and made them rotten and inedible. The blight struck in 1845. The Irish planted more potatoes than ever in the spring of 1 846, figuring the blight would not strike again. But there was worse failure in 1 846 and even worse still in 1847, when the suffering reached its climax. The year is sometimes referred to as Black '47. There also was famine in Scotland and Belgium, but nothing like in Ireland. And as harvests across Europe failed, the price of food soared. Subsistence-level Irish farmers found their food stores rotting in their cellars. The crops they relied on to pay the rent to their British and Irish Protestant landlords were destroyed. Peasants, who ate the rotten produce because they had no t. choice,' grew sick, and entire villages were consumed with cholera and typhus. Parish priests, desperate to provide for their congregations, were forced to forsake buying coffins in order to feed starving families, with the dead going unburied or buried only in the clothes they wore when they died. Oddly enough, massive quantities of food were still exported from Ireland to England, in beef, mutton and other meats. Those who weren't evicted and didn't die often emigrated to the United States, Britain and Australia, often on board rotting, overcrowded "coffin ships," in which almost a third of the passengers died before reaching their final port. There's so much more we could say about the Irish Potato Eamine, but space doesn't allow more of an explanation. As always, check your local library and local bookstore for more information on the Irish Potato Famine. You won't be disappointed. awful pastime. Who wants to watch two roosters kick each other to death? Unbelievably, Louisiana has not yet banned cock- fighting. The practice of cockfighting is a tradition that goes back many centuries, and is difficult to com pletely stamp out. The event is held surreptitiously at shady venues worldwide. The birds are raised for nothing more than to fight, are tormented to be more aggressive and are pumped full of drugs to increase their endurance. Stimulants, hormones and blood-clotting drugs are just a few of the additives used to induce the birds into blood lust. One, or both, of the birds usually dies in a cockfight. The roosters have knives or sharp steel projections called gaffs attached to their legs, near their spurs. The birds peck and maim one another with their beaks and weapons, and fights are held in a pit, offering no chance for escape. Birds in a flock will battle to determine pecking order, but rarely to the death. Only birds . provoked to fight will provoke the serious injuries seen in cockfighting. As in all endeavors, money drives the wheel. Spectators at cock fights bet large sums, and the owner of a winning rooster often reaps a huge profit. Why do we get the hiccups? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?, The world may never know, according" to the old commercial, and the same is true for hiccups. Sort through your memory and try to remember what your diaphragm is and what it does. It's a dome-shaped muscle ' '.' , that separates the chest cavity ' from the abdomen, and plays an important role in breathing. Your diaphragm involuntarily contracts when you hiccup. The contraction causes a brief, immediate closure of the vocal cords, which makes that distinctive "hiccup" sound. As for what causes those hiccups? Well, like I said the world may never know, but that won't keep us from wild speculation. Eating or drinking too fast, being nervous or excited or suffering from an irritated stomach or throat are prime culprits. In rare cases, pleurisy inflammation of thelncmbrane lining of the lungs and chest cavity pneumonia, certain stomach or esophagus disorders, pancreatitis, alcoholism or hepatitis might also caught hiccups. Hiccups, though, are likely the least of your worries if you suffer great pain and discomfort as a result of any those maladies. "Glad You Asked "finds answers to the questions that keep you up at night. It is written by Christopher Bennett, the (715)

Clipped from
  1. Chippewa Herald-Telegram,
  2. 24 Mar 2007, Sat,
  3. Page 5

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