6 Ways Being A Kid In The Past Was A Complete Nightmare

Thanks to time and progress, we’ve been able to shoot down a lot of the bad science that plagued the past. No more thinking the Earth is flat, believing women come from ribs, or burning witches at the stake for figuring out lifehacks against headaches. Yet nowhere has progress had a greater impact than on how we deal with our children. Back in the day, there were plenty of utterly insane parenting styles which would land people in jail now. Here are some of the most ridiculous ways we used to screw up parenthood. You’ll be amazed we were able to keep progressing the species.


Victorians Would Camouflage Themselves As Creepy Furniture On Photo Day

In the days of yore, picture day wasn’t only an excuse to skip out on class and make rude gestures at some underpaid photographer. It was serious business. Taking a photo was so expensive and time-consuming that having some fidgety kid ruin it could mean double shifts down in the mines and a single portion of gruel for the whole family. In fact, 19th-century parents would go to insane lengths to make sure their children sat precisely how they wanted them to.

In the olden days, having one’s picture taken was quite a grueling affair. Exposure could take a long time to set in, up to 15 whole minutes. That’s a quarter of an hour of sitting perfectly still so that you don’t look like a blurry ghost haunting a nice fainting chair. This made taking pictures of small children almost impossible, as they tend to have the vigor and willpower of a hyperactive ferret. So the question became how to restrain one’s child with a firm hand without having that firm hand pop up in the picture and ruining it. The answer was this:

via The Guardian
Not the infant dress cut for someone six feet tall.

As your keen Holmesian eyes may have gathered, that chair looks a little … people-shaped, doesn’t it? That’s right, a mother would disguise herself into the background of the photograph like the world’s most overambitious spy, keeping her toddler in check and probably giving her child some real Freudian hang-ups about upholstery.

This phenomenon, known as the “invisible mothers,” was de rigeur back in the day if you wanted a photograph of your child to cherish, albeit one in which it looks like they’re being suffocated by the Grim Reaper’s old-fashioned aunt, Maude Reaper.


19th-Century Parents Would Send Their Children Via The Postal Service

We often take for granted how easy it is to get places these days. Do your parents live across town? Jump in your affordable car. Grandparents on the other coast? Grab a seat on an affordable plane. Family in Alaska? Hell, they’re all but giving Husky sleds away these days. But back in the day, people couldn’t get around so easily, which was especially troublesome for young parents and their very immobile babies. But then, an unlikely government organization offered them a great alternative to traveling with kids, and all for the cost of a stamp.

One of the greatest innovations of the U.S. Post Office was the addition of parcels in 1913. No longer did people have to stuff books into envelopes and pretend they’d only written the world’s most convoluted letter. As long as your parcel was under 11 pounds, the Parcel Post would ship it. That was the Post Office’s big mistake. As it happens, a lot of babies weigh under 11 pounds, and there were plenty of cheapskate parents out in the sticks who would abuse the hell out of that loophole.

That was the story of James Beagle, an eight-month-old boy who was literally shipped off to his grandmother — who was thankfully only a few miles away. Still, his parents thought that paying 15 cents was a better deal than the wasted time and worn shoes they’d get walking him over. They did insure little James for $50, sending a clear message to the postmen of “You break him, you buy him.”

Perhaps amused by this gross neglect, parents across the country followed suit, and the brief trend was extensively documented in the newspapers. That is, until June 1913, when the postmaster general officially prohibited the sending of children through the mail system. It was a pain for parents, but an absolute godsend for the postmen who were tired of lugging around smelly babies. After all, they weren’t allowed to change their diapers — opening mail is a federal offense.


Medieval Parents Used To Mold Their Babies Using Swaddling

Naturally, parents want their children to turn out the best that they possibly can. Even the most carefree parents would prefer that their offspring be the first in their family to get a PhD, and not the first to get banned from several popular restaurant chains. So how do you tip the odds? By correcting behavior, encouraging ambition, and a whole lot of other pop psychology, for starters. In those and many other ways, parents have been molding their children since the beginning of time — except that they used to take that molding a bit too literally.

In Medieval England, there existed a medical theory that newborn babies had a malleable body type, like Play-Doh, which tended to curl into a ball-like shape. In order to prevent that, mothers would swaddle their babies in tight linen papooses as a way of stretching their spines and their limbs out, believing that this would result in a tall, normal-looking child — though we’re sure there were plenty of fathers who wanted to leave their kid unswaddled just to see what happened.

But if children are made out of putty, why stop at correcting bad posture? Medieval parents quickly figured that some extra manipulation would ensure long arms and legs, so they’d pull and hold their little babies’ limbs like they were tiny Stretch Armstrongs. And since being handsome is always a plus in life, they also routinely pinched and pulled and tweaked the nose and cheeks and ears and lips until the child hardened into a fine adult / clay ashtray.

Not only was the practice useless and painful for the child, but it was also bad for its development. Not changing the bonds daily (which no Medieval parent did) caused all kinds of sores. And in their rush to make sure that their children came out child-shaped, some mothers would also swaddle them too tightly and cause them to suffer from circulatory problems, chafing, and a heap of dermatological nightmares. Nothing some extra swaddling couldn’t buff out, though.


“Twilight Sleep” Was Pure Horror

Moms, what is the worst part of being a mom? Is it letting go on the first day of school? Is it the fear when they’re not home by curfew? Is it having to boil all your towels the moment those little masturbating monsters hit puberty? Wrong, the worst part of motherhood is the pain of squeezing a screaming melon from between your legs whilst everyone in the maternity room stares at your hooha. However, thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, there are many ways of dealing with the pain and discomfort. But what about your grandmother’s generation? Well, the good news is that they too had a chemical concoction which blocked out the pain of childbirth. The bad news? It kind of made mothers go insane.

In 1914, the three hottest trends in Europe were smoking opium, getting machine-gunned in a trench, and “a new and painless method of childbirth.” This new procedure, known as “twilight sleep,” was made possible through a mixture of morphine and scopolamine — the former for pain and the latter for memory. That’s right, the whole point was not only to endure the grueling burden of giving birth, but also to forget that the ghastly affair ever happened at all. Women would simply wake up the next day and some nurse would drop a baby into their arms, assuring them it had plopped out of them mere hours before.

Giving birth while you sleep sounds like a pretty sweet deal — except that it wasn’t, for any of the parties involved (except the doctors, naturally). There’s this little thing mothers need to do called bonding, which is tricky when you get introduced to your baby via a nurse like she’s trying to set you two up on a blind date. Twilight sleep mothers offered suffered from dissociation, wherein they couldn’t recognize their children, often leading to postnatal depression, delusions, and a whole host of psychological problems quickly passed on from one generation to the next.

And to make matters worse, after twilight sleep wards were set up across the U.S., it soon became apparent that the practice wasn’t even truly painless, either. As it turned out, all it really did was mind-wipe new mothers without making their birthing much less horrible. In fact, it did the exact opposite, removing their willpower to deal with the situation, often causing them to freak out. Every hospital that offered twilight sleep quickly turned into a haunted house, as its corridors were filled with the sound of soon-to-be-mothers screaming for their lives. And as the drug cocktail was so shit at numbing them out that these mothers were either strapped to their hospital beds using leather straps or were put into a straitjacket and forced to give birth in padded cells.

Naturally, as this became common knowledge (and some poor woman died), twilight sleep lost its popularity, vanishing completely by the middle of the 20th century. It’s a good thing it didn’t last until the days of dads taping the birth — otherwise it would have spontaneously invented the found footage horror genre.


Old-Timey Parenting Books Were Full Of Dangerous Nonsense

Having kids is hella hard. They’re the most complicated animals in the world to raise, but their operating manual is never included. That’s why, over the centuries, an entire industry has been built around informing new parents how to deal with their stinking, screaming bundles of joy. Ironically, these guides had some teething problems of their own.

During the 19th century, many guides for new mothers were published containing a lot of, to put it politely, fucking batshit crazy guesswork. Do you want a healthy baby? Better align their sleeping position due north so that they’re in sync with “great electrical currents … coursing in one direction around the globe.” That way, according to 1878’s The Physical Life Of Woman, those currents can synergize with your baby’s central nervous system and supercharge them to the max.

And you don’t want your babies to become ugly, right? Searchlights On Health: The Science Of Eugenics had an easy answer: Don’t think about uggos. A pregnant woman should banish all thoughts of the ugly “or those marked by any deformity or disease.” How do you not think of something just mentioned in what you’re reading? Good question. Also, if you’re a pregnant woman and you’re reading this, good luck with your hideous child.

Meanwhile, in the best-selling The Mother And Her Child, two doctors recommend you “handle the baby as little as possible.” If it (and they are definitely an “it” here) cries, you should let it happen. After all, crying is “absolutely essential to the development of good strong lungs.” You want your kids to have good strong lungs, don’t you? Well, let ’em weep … But not so much that they start to choke and burst the blood vessels in their face, in which case you should spank them for having the dishonor to nearly die in the midst of a life lesson.

And to make sure they don’t go soft after they’ve screamed themselves strong, you should also never, ever hug a child, and only kiss them once a day (maximum) before bedtime. Remember, parents, an emotionally dead child is an obedient child, so greet them in the morning with a firm and hearty handshake to let them know you respect and care for them in the same way you would an out-of-town business associate you haven’t seen in four years.


Better Healthcare Through Getting Kids Wasted

So you’ve tried everything. You tried binding their limbs, ignoring their cries, even beating them senseless, but none of that stellar parenting has done the trick. You’re still coming home to a sickly, unruly child who thinks of you as a malicious stranger out to ruin their life — but not in a good way. Well, have you tried pumping them full of opium?

Via Bustle.com
If your kid was born before World War I, the answer was “Yes,” whether you knew it or not.

During the 1800s, drugging your children was the most socially responsible thing a parent could do. According to doctors, it cured every infant ailment, from fever to night terrors to full-scale tuberculosis. Opium was the most popular medication for the young and old alike, because it couldn’t be bad taking something that made you feel sooooo good. Medicine such as Stickney and Poor’s Pure Paregoric (a cold syrup) contained 46 percent alcohol and “one and three-sixteenth grains of opium to each fluid ounce” — a ratio you wouldn’t think to find outside of an Afghan warlord’s bathroom cabinet. And in case parents were a bit worried about, y’know, pumping their little ones with so much smack they’d start overdosing like they were in Trainspotting, the bottles came equipped with a handy-dandy chart listing the “correct” dose for everyone from adults all the way down to five-day-olds.

“If you see yourself crawling over the ceiling toward a Scottish smackhead, reduce your dosage.”

But what if your kids were the fussy types who didn’t like the bitter taste of uncut opium? Well, you could also buy opium cough drops flavored with the refreshing taste of cherry. Of course, having six-month-olds chase the dragon caused some mild addiction problems, but parents who are cool with pumping their babies full of class A narcotics are typically not parents who bother knowing the difference between overly fussy babies and babies showing hardcore signs of withdrawal.

Not that opium was the only way parents used to let kids live it up like they were on tour with Guns N’ Roses. During the gin craze of the mid-1700s, English parents let their offspring get sloshed on up to half a pint of cheap gin every day, we guess because they preferred the sound of loud sea shanties over crying. Of course, these were the days of child labor as well, so maybe it’s more a case of seven-year-olds, fresh from a shift down in the mines, stopping at their local for a quick pint before they had to get back to the ol’ mom and chain.

Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook. He also has a newsletter about depressing history, but that’s only for the coolest kids.

There are much better books about child care these days, but we’re not qualified to suggest any so don’t forget to introduce your kids to all things Dr. Suess. Also please don’t ever try to mail your baby.

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Catch a faceful of funny on Thursday, October 19 at The Cracked Stand Up Show, hosted by Alex Schmidt and featuring Soren Bowie, Eddie Della Siepe, Joel Samataro, Riley Silverman, and Barbara Gray. Get your tickets here.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25056_6-ways-being-kid-in-past-was-complete-nightmare.html

This Year’s Nobel Prize Winner Left Science Because Of Lack Of Funding

A retired chronobiologist, who spent much of his career investigating the internal clocks that guide our lives, was stirred from sleep in the early hours of the morning by a most welcome call. Jeffrey Hall had received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young.

Their research revolutionized what we know about “how plants, animals, and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions.”

Yet even Nobel prize winner and professor emeritus of biology like Dr Hall, who left science almost a decade ago, had a difficult time receiving funding during his years as a scientist. In time, he became disenchanted with the status quo of American academia and funding.

In a 2008 interview with Current Biology, Dr Hall noted that this was one of the reasons he decided to leave.

“I admit that I resent running out of research money… recent applications from our lab have had their lungs ripped out, often accompanied by sneering, personal denunciations – perhaps reflecting the fact that this old-timer has lost his touch. But I still love the little flies [used as model organisms] and claim that my colleagues and I could continue to interact with them productively.”

He added that there are times when scientific luminaries receive funding for less-qualified work just because of their status – and that this is preventing quality research. 

“Here’s what: they receive massive amounts of support for their research, absorbing funds that might be better used by others. As an example, one would-be star boasted to me that he’d never send a paper from his lab to anywhere but Nature, Cell, or Science. These submissions always get a foot in the door, at least.”

Although he received a good amount of funding from the government over the course of many years, he’s worried about the up-and-coming generation.

“What props up biological research, at least in the vaunted US of A, involves a situation so deeply imbued with entitlement mentality that it has sunk into institutional corruption.” 

He added: “A principal symptom of this state of affairs involves the following: People are hired after they have undergone long stints of training; and a potential hiree must present a large body of documented accomplishments… now the CV of a successful applicant looks like that of a newly minted full Professor from olden times. Notwithstanding these demands, and the associated high quality of a fledgling faculty-level type, the job starts with some ‘set-up’ money for equipping the lab; but next to no means are provided to initiate that ‘research program’ and to sustain it during the years to come.”

It is an exhausting system to be sure, and one that has recently been called out by scientists. The struggle for junior researchers to build their careers often results in a pressure bubble, where the quantity of publications pays out over quality in the pursuit of job security. 

Whether Dr Hall still feels the same in today’s current science climate remains to be seen. However, if his sentiments remain similar, that’s likely to be the case, with the Trump administration attempting to slash science funding and post-doctoral pressures climbing.

In terms of Dr Hall’s contributions to science, the Nobel prize committee wrote that “circadian biology has developed into a vast and highly dynamic research field, with implications for our health and wellbeing.” Such implications include how our internal clock regulates functions such as hormone levels, sleep, body temperature, and metabolism.

For his groundbreaking discoveries into the world of biological clocks, Dr. Hall will split the monetary prize of $970,000 equally with the two other scientists.

[H/T: Quartz Media

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/this-years-nobel-prize-winner-left-science-because-of-lack-of-funding/

Family blames hospital after mom loses limbs to flesh-eating bacteria following childbirth

A Canadian mother has filed a claim against her doctors and the hospital she gave birth in after she lost all four limbs to a flesh-eating bacteria infection and now faces a kidney transplant. Lindsey Hubley, 33, gave birth to son Myles in March, but suffered a series of complications after being sent home, CTV News reported.

The claim alleges that Hubley returned to IWK Health Centre the next day and was allegedly sent home without further examination. Hubley’s lawyer claims that doctors failed to remove part of her placenta during her son’s birth, and she returned to the hospital for a second time the following day after experiencing pain and discoloration, CTV News reported.


Hubley, who is currently hospitalized, required amputations below both her elbows and knees, and underwent a complete hysterectomy. Additionally, her fiancé, Mike Sampson, 34, has quit his job to help care for her and their newborn son.

“Our allegations are that had she been properly assessed when she presented at the hospital … a substantial part of the damage, if not all of it, could have been prevented,” Wagner told the news outlet.

Sampson said Hubley faces more major surgeries, but has managed to remain upbeat.

“Myles and I make our way to the hospital pretty much every day to see mama,” he told CTV News. “Our lives have been turned upside down.”  

A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family cover associated medical expenses. 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/10/13/family-blames-hospital-after-mom-loses-limbs-to-flesh-eating-bacteria-following-childbirth.html

I Live In Centralia, PA: It’s America’s Creepiest Ghost Town

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In 1962, there was a trash fire in a strip mine beneath Centralia, Pennsylvania. Well, we say “was” — there still is. That unassuming little fire ignited an eternal hellish blaze which burns underground to this day. Centralia is one of the most famous ghost towns on earth, but the term “ghost town” is not perfectly accurate, because a handful of people still live there. We spoke with a few former residents, Jack and Becky, as well as one current resident, Jack’s dad, “Guy.” They told us …


The Earth Literally Eats People And Animals

Centralia was a thriving mining town right up until that whole “perpetual hellfire” thing. The land beneath it is honeycombed with mines and tunnels, and the fires have spread all through them. Sometimes the ground up and collapses, devouring whatever surface life lies above with its terrible burning maw. Jack explained: “The scariest things are the sinkholes. You need to watch your step in the woods, because the ground can give way. The fire might have burnt through a foot of coal, but the ground looks like it’s at the level it’s always been. So you step out there and you have some people coming back with broken ankles.”

Really, broken ankles aren’t all that bad compared to some of the things people in other towns face. But Centralia’s sinkholes are more ambitious than that: “The incident that told everyone ‘Maybe we should move’ was when a young kid down the street had a sinkhole collapse around him, and he was sucked down. His mother was watching him, turned around, and when she looked back, he was gone into the pit. This pit went 100 feet down, and looked like a cone if you looked down. He would have died if his arms weren’t stretched out. When they pulled him out, a huge plume of smoke came out, and you could just see the fire at the bottom of the hole.”

That boy, Todd Domboski, survived and presumably went on to write a bestselling book about his escape from the bowels of Hell. Other human-sized creatures in Centralia have not been as lucky.

We keep waiting for glowing eyes to appear.

“Every once in a while, you would come across a deer sticking out vertically with steam billowing out. They looked like they were crawling out. The poor deer had fallen into a sinkhole and had either starved to death or suffocated to death from the fumes. My friends would claim to see smoke coming out of its mouth, like it had been burnt alive, but it was just the way the smoke came out.”

This means the kids who grew up in Centralia before it was completely abandoned had to deal with death on a pretty regular basis. Becky told us about watching the violent death of a neighbor’s cat: “We were swinging in the backyard, and this patch of grass suddenly turned brown. Their cat was standing there, and it suddenly became brown. It didn’t make any noise, and we thought she had done something to make it all suddenly brown, like flipping a sheet over. But it was just another hole, and the cat went down. We didn’t say anything until we jumped off and went over to the fence to see that it was another sinkhole, and we called out to our neighbor, but after some light digging (NEVER go into a sinkhole by yourself), her cat was gone.”

Asphalt Films

Sinkholes even caused an entire stretch of highway to be rerouted after holes and gas buckled parts of it back in 1994. The state did its best to hide the old highway, but because of the dangers lurking beneath, they never got rid of it. And it’s still there, waiting for George Miller to make a much more colorful Mad Max sequel.


Life In A Ghost Town Is … Interesting

Underneath Centralia, the endless fire has created an environment as deadly as the surface of Saturn. While the gases aren’t lethal up above, they still play hell with the resident’s health. Poison gas has even built up in some citizens’ basements. Guy explained how that all simply became part of the weather in Centralia. “We always had the smoke, and my wife felt sick if she was near it. We stay away from it. It’s bad news. Only the tourists go into the damn thing.”

And Becky elaborated: “There was a lot of coughing. If you know what black lung is [this], it’s what the coughing sounded like. It’s this cough where you can hear the mucus. Worse than what smokers have. If you spent enough time near the smoke, you got a cough like that. And if you were a miner developing black lung, who smoked and spent time near the smoke, like my dad, then you knew when they were home, because you heard the worst cough in the world. If you went to a nearby store and you heard the cough, odds are they were from Centralia.”

This isn’t all in the past. Toxic gases still billow from burnt-out places, and that poses a major threat. Vents were built to pipe the steam away from town into areas of eminent domain where no one lives anymore.

Due to all the underground damage, many homes need additional supports (especially if the former houses next door were means of support for them), so they look like they have six or seven chimneys.

Becky points out that the fame of Centralia also means a lot of tourism. She lived there until her 20s, and while she was in grade school, her dying town became a Halloween vacation destination: “Everyone wanted to trick or treat near me. They didn’t care that they got less candy. They wanted to be scared. A few years some of that steam would rise, or it would be foggy. With all the abandoned houses, it was better than a haunted house. To them. Me, it was another day.”

Even outside of Halloween, tourists would come by just to take in the poisonous “atmosphere” in Centralia. “Whenever people visited from, say, Harrisburg or Lancaster, they would get scared easily. The ground would give out from under them and they’d fall in to their knees, and they’d go ‘Oh my God!’ I was so used to it that I said, ‘Sometimes it does that,’ and went on. This wasn’t unusual. My mom or dad would say not to go into the steam and to stay away from the ‘openings,’ and they always asked what that was. When they found out, they asked if they were going to die, and my dad, eloquent as ever, would say, ‘Oh, probably not.’ Not to be funny, but actually being serious about it.”


People Just … Didn’t Care About The Danger

People are remarkably good at ignoring imminent doom. For evidence of this, read absolutely any newspaper in the world today. It wasn’t until 1984, after several kids were sucked into sinkholes and the underground tanks at a local gas station nearly exploded, that the U.S. government ordered a total evacuation of the town. People still stayed behind, so in 1992, the governor put the entire town under eminent domain. In 2002, the state took their zip code away, and in 2009, the governor announced that all holdouts would be evacuated for their own good.

There are still seven people living in Centralia.

Jack explains why many of those residents ignored the government back then, even when it was doing something as reasonable as evacuating Toxic Firetown, USA. “We had meetings with scientists explaining what was happening. They were talking to miners, some of whom had degrees, so they didn’t have to go layman.” The denizens of Centralia understood coal and the mines, but they still weren’t able to accept that their hometown was now the abode of Satan himself. “The scientists, and even other miners, were telling them that the town could fall in piece by piece or get toxic gas, but they denied it, and said they’d continue to live here because they didn’t see it. These were after pits started opening up, but they STILL said no.”

Jack’s father, Guy, isn’t exactly on the same page. He’s one of the few that stayed behind. And he did it largely to spite those damned scientists and government officials who rolled into town to talk down to him and his neighbors. “They thought they knew more than us, but they were wrong. How come the town hasn’t collapsed like they said? It’s not as bad as they said, and you see that now.”

Jack and Guy’s disagreement is nothing new. Back when the evacuation efforts started, Centralia itself was bitterly divided over whether the fire was a threat or not. Becky remembers: “My parents stayed, because they didn’t think they could afford to move. But then they got an offer for double the value of their home, and they took it. My neighbor ([the one] who owned the cat), she stayed. She had seen the danger firsthand, and lost something she loved to it, but she wasn’t budging. The last time I was there, she was shouting from her porch at some men in suits who obviously wanted her house.”

In 2013, after a battle lasting over 20 years, the remaining ten residents were allowed to stay, but once they’re gone, their homes go to the public domain. Guy sums it neatly: “It’s my home. That’s all there is to it.”

Becky thinks that for some of those last remaining residents, staying in Centralia may be less about spite and more about living in a place so dangerous it’s effectively off the grid: “My old neighbor, until the day she died, would chase off journalists with a broom and hide sprinklers in her lawn to turn them on when people got near. I know before she died, she said she was ‘in talks’ to buy a cellphone jammer, which seems incredibly illegal, but this woman was also fine with threatening to spray bug spray at tourist’s dogs.”


The Government Is Trying to Erase Centralia

Jack pointed out that 20 years ago, while Centralia was emptying out, the town still looked more or less like it always had. But over the last two decades, the state government has been doing its damnedest to wipe the town away. “As soon as they bought houses, they tore them down and covered them with plants. Then they took out as much of the foundations as they could. Then they removed the lip in the curb. They don’t exist, and it looks like they never did.”

We took a picture of Becky’s old house:

“See that? You can kinda tell where a driveway was. But that’s it. No sign of the huge gate we had, or of the stairs, or anything.”

Jack continues: “They took away the name. One day, all the signs were gone. All the signs showing nearby towns had been replaced, with ‘Centralia’ [left] off. They even later covered up an arrow showing a way to get to another city through Centralia, so people passing through can’t get here.”

They removed Centralia’s name from the city municipal building:

The county records office is slowly removing the town from history, which has made life tough on Jack’s dad: “When my father went in to check his property lines, it took almost half a day to find a copy, because they had trashed so much of Centralia.”

The county has also cut back on basic services for the seven people who still live there. Says Jack: “My father doesn’t get mail. Officially, Centralia has no zip code, so nothing can be sent there. Everybody needs a PO box in another town, or need their family to collect it. All of my father’s mail is sent to me. He also stopped using checks. You can’t put Centralia down anymore, due to the zip code, and he didn’t want to ‘burden’ me with putting my address down as his. He went full cash and debit.”

Becky points out that the lack of a PO box has an even more disastrous consequence: It’s made pizza delivery much more difficult. “My parents, after they took away the zip code, couldn’t just give directions to people. If they didn’t know about Centralia, they needed to be specific. I overheard my parents say to pizza guys on the phone ‘Go to Aristes. Then head south on 42. Third little street you see, halfway turn right. We’re the only house on the street.'”


Tourists Are Destroying The Town

Centralia had 1,000 residents in 1980. It was down to 63 in 1990, and ten in 2010. The coal industry left after the whole, uh, giant apocalyptic coal fire thing. But even with all that, Centralia could’ve survived. There’s the tourism aspect, and the fact that it’s kind of an ideal filming location.

Unfortunately, tourism’s mostly benefited neighboring towns, since the state won’t issue new business permits in Centralia. The places selling souvenirs, gasoline, and lodgings are all outside Centralia’s old borders. Since the tourists don’t bring money into town, residents have come to hate them. Jack explained: “They’ll walk on lawns and property freely, thinking it’s abandoned. They’ll always be asking, ‘Why do you live here?’ They dump trash everywhere … The worst are the tourists who leave graffiti.”

Guy has some even more complaints: “They chipped at my house. For a souvenir, like they wanted a piece of the Lord’s cross. Chip chip chip, and they took a part of my stairs. Then they wrote ‘Let it burn’ on it. Why would they do that?”

So what can he do about it? Basically nothing. Jack explains that staying in Centralia means living beyond a lot of modern conveniences … like law enforcement. “We have no police anymore. [State and county] police come through town, of course, but for something routine, it’s not a big deal.”

The town has been beaten up so badly by these visitors that, according to Jack, Hollywood doesn’t really have any interest in filming there anymore. He told us about one time that several location scouts came through town (likely working on The Road), but decided they just couldn’t work there. “The movie people came here, looked around, decided it had too much graffiti, and shot on another abandoned highway out near Pittsburgh. Other Hollywood people talked to my father quickly (Centralia residents don’t like the press), and they liked the look, but they said ‘It might be too much graffiti,’ and since they never came back, it probably was.”

Unless Bansky was directing, then yeah.

Becky adds: “For the last five years or so, [tourists have] been way more destructive than the fire.”

Despite intermittent police crackdowns, trespassing has been on the upswing. A lot of that probably has to do with the fact that so many articles on the internet have spread the story of Centralia. So, uh, sorry about that?

Readers, trust us here: Don’t visit Centralia. And if you do, don’t draw on anything. And super duper don’t break pieces off of people’s houses. That’s just messed up. Residents have enough problems.

Evan V. Symon is a journalist and interviewer for Cracked, who was on location in Centralia and didn’t die. Have an awesome job/experience you’d like to see here? Hit us up at tips@cracked.com today!

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2537-i-live-in-centralia-pa-its-americas-creepiest-ghost-town.html

Kate Middleton Makes First Public Appearance Since Third Royal Baby News LOOK!

Kate Middleton is up and about again!

As you surely know, the Duchess of Cambridge has recently taken a step back from the spotlight as she’s been suffering from severe morning sickness thanks to her third pregnancy. However, on Tuesday, the 35-year-old powered through her illness in order to attend the reception at Buckingham Palace to commemorate World Mental Health Day.

QUIZ: Are You A Royal Family Expert??

We can’t say we’re surprised Prince George‘s momma rallied for this event as mental health awareness has been a cause close to her heart. As seen in the footage (below), the pregnant royal donned a tea-length Temperley dress as she greeted guests alongside husband Prince William and brother-in-law Prince Harry.

This is Princess Kate’s first public appearance in six weeks. On how the Duchess is doing these days, her aide told the press:

“The Duchess’ condition is improving but she is still suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. The Duchess is delighted to be here tonight.”

Glad to hear it! Stay strong, girl!

P.S. We’re LOVING Kate’s little baby bump! So sweet.

[Image via AP Images.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-10-10-kate-middleton-first-public-appearance-since-third-pregnancy-announcement-photo

She Complained Of Pain But Doctors Sent Her Home. Now She Has No Full Limbs.

When Lindsey Hubley was pregnant with her son, Myles, she had likely kept in mind that his birth might come with complications.

But before the 33-year-old welcomed her little boy into the world on March 2, she would have never guessed that not only would she spend the first seven months of Myles’ life in the hospital, but she’d be doing it without any full limbs. Hubley is now suing the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and five doctors after everything she’s been through.

Two days after giving birth to Myles, Hubley was discharged from the hospital. However, she came back the next day with abdominal pain. According to her lawyer, she didn’t receive an examination and was diagnosed with constipation before being sent home again.

She was rushed to the hospital again the next day after experiencing more pain and discoloration on her body. She was eventually diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, the flesh-eating disease.

Since then she’s had to have a total hysterectomy and amputations below both of her elbows and knees, making her a quadruple amputee. She’s also been through multiple surgeries and hasn’t been able to come home since Myles’ birth.

Hubley’s lawyer, Ray Wagner, says that negligence caused what happened to her. “Our allegations are that had she been properly assessed when she presented at the hospital … a substantial part of the damage, if not all of it, could have been prevented,” he said

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/mother-loses-limbs/

10 Little Things Your Dog Or Cat Does That Mean It’s Time To Go To The Vet

If you consider your pets as family members, you’ll agree that their health and well-being are top priorities.

But as diligent as you may be about making sure they’re happy and healthy, they can’t outright tell you when they aren’t feeling their best. That’s why it’s so important to watch out for symptoms that may indicate bigger problems. If your cats or dogs are experiencing any of the 10 warning signs below, it’s definitely a good idea to take them to the vet.

1. If your cat or dog uncharacteristically starts having accidents in the house and drinks much more than usual, it may be a sign of diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, or adrenal gland disease. Alternatively, if they’re urinating much less frequently than normal, they could be dealing with a urinary tract problem or bladder stones. All of these symptoms are urgent and require a visit to the vet.

2. Occasional vomiting, especially with cats, isn’t too out of the ordinary. However, if your pets are vomiting or having diarrhea multiple times a day, feeling lethargic, and don’t have much of an appetite, it’s time to see the vet. These symptoms could be signaling gastrointestinal illnesses or parasite infections that include hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, or giardia. Blood in their stool or vomit could also indicate a foreign object in the stomach.

3. Pets experiencing stiffness, lameness, or difficulty rising could be suffering from hip or spine arthritis, disc disease, ruptured ligaments, or hip dysplasia — all of which need attention and treatment from their vet.

5. According to Dr. Karen Becker, “If the white area of your dog’s eye turns bright red, it’s a sign of inflammation or infection that signals one of several diseases. Certain disorders of the eye can lead to blindness, so any significant change in the appearance of your dog’s eyes should be investigated.”

6. Hair loss or itchy skin and ears could mean anything from fleas, ticks, mange mites and ear mites to endocrine problems, staph infections, fungal or yeast infections. Your vet can identify and work to treat the cause.

9. Unexplained weight loss could be caused by metabolic disorders, neuromuscular diseases, cancer, and heart disease. If your pet loses more than 10 percent of their body weight, take them to the vet.

10. Restlessness doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it could be a sign that your pets aren’t feeling quite themselves. If you notice your dog or cat pacing, shaking, looking anxious or whining, a visit to the vet can identify the issue.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/pet-warning-signs/

How The Air Force Might Change Your Life, Based On Your Current Life Goal

What does it mean to serve your country in the United States Air Force? Why not ask the Airmen who do it themselves? In partnership with the Air Force, Thought Catalog is giving you answers to the most frequently asked questions about serving as an Airman.
United States Air Force

1. ‘I want to help others’

If your life goal is to help others, the Air Force is the ultimate place for that. The Air Force Medical Service has hospitals and clinics that help individuals with physical health as well as mental. If you were to join, not only could you be changing other people’s lives for the better, you could change yours too.

The Air Force “goes into the fire” both literally and figuratively. Be it an out-of-control fire, or an international disaster that requires humanitarian aid, brave Airmen are some of the responders that will save property and lives.

2. ‘I want to travel’

If your life goal is to travel, the Air Force is a phenomenal place to work. Based on your career track, you may get to visit many countries, to travel the world, and to immerse yourself into different and exciting cultures. By joining the Air Force, you may get to see sights that you would never be able to see otherwise.

3. ‘I want to grow stronger mentally’

In the Air Force you will face challenges and lessons that will enrich you as a human being and will make you a much more courageous and determined person.

4. ‘I want to build strong relationships’

In the Air Force you may meet fellow Airmen that will become pals for life. The bonds formed between Airmen are often unbreakable. Some Airmen have even found future spouses within the service.

5. ‘I want to make a difference in this world’

By joining the Air Force you would have the chance to impact other people’s lives positively and make the world a better place. Being in the Air Force also expertly prepares you for many careers that make a difference in ways large and small, helping you to make your mark.

6. ‘I want to get my dream job’

Joining the Air Force isn’t just about putting on a uniform! It’s about learning and gaining skills you will never find anywhere else. The Air Force will teach you the lessons that will position you well for any number of future careers. You can receive a free college education too—opening even more career paths up to you.

7. ‘I want to feel empowered’

The Air Force prepares you to be a leader. With challenging fitness requirements, leadership training, and classes that teach specific skills, being an Airman will show you everything that you are capable of.

8. ‘I want to grow stronger physically’

Becoming an Airman takes a lot of work, and you are going to come out of it stronger than you ever were before. Every person’s Air Force training experience is a little different, but they all are designed to help you find your strengths and develop them even more.

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/lauren-jarvis-gibson/2017/10/how-the-air-force-might-change-your-life-based-on-your-current-life-goal/

Blood From Women Who Have Been Pregnant Could Be Fatal To Men In Transfusions, Study Finds

Men who receive blood transfusions from women who have been pregnant are more likely to die, a study has found. Scientists from Sanquin Research found that transfusions from blood donors who have been pregnant were associated with an increased risk of mortality in male recipients, but not female recipients.

The study looked at 31,118 patients who had received 59,320 red blood cell transfusions between 2005 and 2015 in major hospitals in the Netherlands. By comparing survival rates of the recipients, they found “a statistically significant increase in all-cause mortality among male recipients of red blood cell transfusions”. 

In total, 3,969 patients studied died after their transfusions, with the lead cause being transfusion-related acute lung injury.

The researchers found that men under the age of 50 were 1.5 times more likely to die within three years, if they received a transfusion from a woman who had been pregnant before donating.

Whilst significant, this isn’t a huge increase, but nevertheless, it could have implications for transfusions in the future if the same results are replicated elsewhere. The same results were not seen in female recipients of blood transfusions, and their mortality was not affected in any statistically significant way. Their results are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Further study is needed, and the National Health Service in the UK have stated that they continue to welcome donations from women who have been pregnant. Shutterstock.

The researchers suggested that this increase in risk of mortality could be due to antibodies acquired during pregnancy.

“The association of increased mortality among male patients who received transfusions from ever-pregnant donors suggests a possible mechanism based on immunologic changes occurring during pregnancy,” Dr Rutger Middelburg from Sanquin Research said, reports the Telegraph.

“An alternative explanation could be a difference in iron status between ever-pregnant female and male donors. Some studies also report differences in red blood cell physiology between the sexes.”

The authors point out that further research is needed “to replicate these findings, determine their clinical significance, and identify the underlying mechanism.”

“These results are provocative and may – if true – have significant clinical implications,” Ritchard G Cable MD wrote in an editorial on the JAMA Network. However, he urged caution, and stated that other clinical trials have had different results.

The National Health Service in the UK told the Telegraph that blood donations from all donors were welcome and that they continue to welcome donations from women who have been pregnant.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/blood-from-women-who-have-been-pregnant-could-be-fatal-to-men-in-transfusions-study-finds/

A study out before Halloween shows how terrified Americans are of Trumpcare.

This Halloween, what’s really getting Americans’ skin to crawl?

Clowns, climate change, and nuclear war are all drumming up fears in the hearts of Americans — but apparently not as much as the prospect of losing health insurance.

Halloween masks of Donald Trump. Photo by Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images.

An annual survey by Chapman University found that many respondents considered “Trumpcare” to be some truly spooky legislation.

According to the study, which gauged how fearful respondents were on 80 different topics — ranging from crime and the environment, to personal anxieties and technology — Trumpcare was the second most-feared item on the list, behind only “corrupt government officials.”

Out of the 1,207 adults polled across the U.S., 55.3% of Americans reported being either “afraid” or “very afraid” of the GOP’s attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

That’s more than double the percentage of those who reported being fearful of sharks, public speaking, and even death itself.

Graphic courtesy of Chapman University.

Obamacare also made an appearance in the survey, although it’s much further down the list. The current law of the land (which has helped provide health insurance to roughly 20 million people) still sends a chill down the spines of 33.9% of Americans. That figure marks a significant drop from last year — before Trump took office — when Obamacare was the 10th most feared item. Now, it’s #29.

“The 2017 list of fears clearly reflects political unrest and uncertainty in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president,” the university noted, pointing to increased anxieties shared by many Americans on health care, nuclear war with North Korea, and the consequences of climate change.

What’s so scary about Trumpcare?

The survey didn’t ask respondents about why, exactly, any specific item gave them goosebumps. But it’s not too surprising Trumpcare gives Americans the heebie-jeebies.

A jack-o-lantern carved into the face of Trump. Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

There’ve been multiple (failed) versions of health care legislation drafted by Senate Republicans — all vaguely falling under the term “Trumpcare” — with each one involving massive cuts to Medicaid and overhauling many of the protective provisions guaranteed through the Affordable Care Act. Every bill proposed would have resulted in tens of millions of Americans losing their health care coverage one way or another, CBO estimates found.

Frustrated with a flailing Congress, however, Trump is determined to dismantle the Affordable Care Act on his own. Earlier this month, the White House announced it was scrapping subsidies for health care companies that help provide insurance to low-income Americans. Without the federal government’s help, premiums will likely spike, hitting poorer Americans hardest. The Trump administration is also hellbent on ensuring Obamacare enrollment drops, slashing budgets for advertising that notifies people in need of health care when they can sign up for Obamacare exchanges. Now that’s spooky.

Clowns and sharks may fuel nightmares, but losing health care is what is really keeping Americans up at night.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-study-out-before-halloween-shows-how-terrified-americans-are-of-trumpcare