Tag Archives: rats

Giovanni Boccaccio on pandemics past and present

Constance Markey Chicago, IL   The plague of Florence, 1348; an episode in the Decameron by Boccaccio. Etching by L. Sabatelli the elder after G. Boccaccio. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)) Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) is universally celebrated for his masterpiece The Decameron, an appealing assemblage of one hundred loosely connected novellas, […]

Mary Niles and the Canton rats

Edward McSweegan Kinston, Rhode Island, United States   Doctor Mary West Niles, Wikipedia¬† Bubonic plague arrived in Honolulu in December 1899. A month later it had spread to San Francisco, where the infection caused a series of deadly outbreaks until 1907.1 But for decades before plague reached the American west coast, it had burned through […]

Of men and brains and rats

Observers of the affairs of man in an age of mass destruction weaponry have long worried about the future of the human race. Why do men so often make erroneous decisions and act in ways detrimental to their interests and even to their survival? Is not homo sapiens the epitome of millions of years of […]