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United States Science

The Black Plague Batted .500 Its Rookie Year 74

ElDuderino44137 writes "Hey, kids, got the summer blues? The CIA isn't the only one with a kids' page to keep you busy. The Centers for Disease Control have the full set of collectible infectious disease trading cards. Mix 'em, match 'em, trade 'em, recoil in abject horror from 'em."
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The Black Plague Batted .500 Its Rookie Year

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  • Finally... (Score:4, Funny)

    by brilinux ( 255400 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @02:26PM (#9623995) Journal

    Something to go with my stuffed microbes []!
  • one of the Slashdot authors writes a truly hillarious story title, this one is one of them....
  • by hookedup ( 630460 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @02:29PM (#9624031)
    MOM! Tommy got Ebola again! Tell him to share!
  • by Leffe ( 686621 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @02:31PM (#9624043)
    ... gotta catch 'em all ;)
  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by daeley ( 126313 ) * on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @02:35PM (#9624092) Homepage
    I don't know about you, but I am *so* not eating the bubblegum that comes with these!
  • by Bob_Robertson ( 454888 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @02:38PM (#9624130) Homepage
    Here I thought that those "Most Awful Criminals" cards were in bad taste.

    Reading the back of the Anthrax card, it's just propaganda for kids to show mommy and daddy so they won't defund the CDC.

  • except it's with STDs.

    girl, you WISH i'd trade The Ninja for your Warts, get that thing away from me!!

    we could even incorporate it into a card game.

    I'll trade my level 34 Master Ninja for your 55 +strength Herpulox.

    get me some buttah baby i'm onna ROLL!!!
  • Trades here (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm willing to offer Ebola for some Herpes if you've got it.. ?

    Let me know. Thanks.
  • Kids these days... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by I_Love_Pocky! ( 751171 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @02:41PM (#9624162)
    Get all of the cool toys. Why didn't they have this when I was growing up?
  • The text description on these cards could be a bit neater - considering it's a PDF.
  • Pet Peeve (Score:3, Informative)

    by cephyn ( 461066 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @02:57PM (#9624311) Homepage
    No such thing as the "black plague" --

    There is the Black Death, referring to a specific pandemic of Bubonic Plague in Europe in 1347-1350.
    • Re:Pet Peeve (Score:2, Informative)

      by zaroastra ( 676615 )
      Actually, the mistake is classifying the black plague as bubonic plague. (a very common misconception because of what they have taught us in schools)
      I saw a program where they explained why the black plague of late middle ages couldn't have been the bubonic plague.
      The black plague simptoms and "modus operandi" was far more related to the haemorrhagic plague than bubonic plague.
      A fast google search rendered these items:
      Black Death blamed on man, not rats []
      Bubonic plague didn't cause the Black Death []
      But im
      • Re:Pet Peeve (Score:2, Insightful)

        by cephyn ( 461066 )
        that second link tries to say it wasnt plague, but pretty much ends up saying it was -- they say the symptoms COULD be from plague but MIGHT not have been. And its been well documented that plague can EASILY spread from human to human, especially in pneumonic form. And plague infection could display symptoms very similar to hemo fever in septecemic form. bubonic plague is one type of infection from yersinia pestis. Pneumonic is a different one (lungs) and septecemic is the third (blood) -- septecemic has be
        • even i didnt like that much the second link, mostly because it told something about an american university, and i knew it wasn't an american discovery...
          so i looked further, and here you go:
          google [] all you want

          Most convincing argument: the only sucessfull thing against the black plague was quarentine (has proven in the pope's (living in frace at the time) and venezian records.
          Rats dont respect quarentines do they?

          Or just read the book:
          The Return of the Black Death []
          • no black plague, black death.

            rats don't respect quarantines, but depending on how a quarantine is carried out, it might also keep the rats out too. If that's the most convincing argument though, that's pretty sad. I'm not even sure what that "most convincing" item means...if it wasn't plague, quarantine works, but if it was plague, quarantine shouldn't have worked because rats dont respect it? A little sketchy, since it technically wasn't even the rats, it was the fleas. Also, early on in plague outbreak m
    • Re:Pet Peeve (Score:2, Informative)

      by zaroastra ( 676615 )
      here, i even found you a paper on it! []
      (proving that the black death was not the bubonic plague that is)
  • by Bowling Moses ( 591924 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @03:54PM (#9624967) Journal
    I don't get their criteria for giving out the cards. Some major-league diseases are missing like tuberculosis and cholera, but they give some small-time (yeah yeah it's not small if you've got it) diseases their own card. Damnit, I want a 1918 influenza [] card! It killed millions worldwide--a very pricey card I'm sure.
  • by jtheory ( 626492 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @05:13PM (#9625994) Homepage Journal people who don't have a great understanding of children.

    I think this would have given me nightmares when I was a kid (check out page 2, with the thick white membrane in the throat of the Diptheria sufferer, or the backwards-bent leg of the Polio girl)... but I think the helpful translations of scientific words would have made up for it. This snippet (from the Cyclosporiasis blurb) is a fine example:
    You may get this disease from eating food or swallowing water that has been contaminated with feces
    (poop). About a week after you get this parasite, you may start to feel sick and have diarrhea.

    Yeah, I'm sure the kid knows what "contaminated" means... come on, guys. Though I will forgive them not trying to explain "diarrhea" using small words.
  • work (Score:1, Troll)

    by lubricated ( 49106 )
    your tax dollars at work.
  • "you can get crypto by putting in your mouth food or water that has come into contact with feces (poop)"

    what they're leaving out is the "or by working in a lab where a co-worker accidentally ordered viable oocysts rather than inactivated ones for his studies". Getting crypto is absolutely no fun. But it's nice to see that I've experienced 4 of the cards there (crypto, vaccines, chickenpox, and ulcer). not sure how many of the others i'm willing to try out.
  • by Madcapjack ( 635982 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @06:19PM (#9626664)
    Wait until they come out with the action figures.

  • I picked some of these up (along with some stuffed microbes) when I was down at the CDC last winter. (Doing flu research does have some benefits...)

    The cards are kind of cool, but can be extremely gross or revolting. It's the kind of thing I wish I'd know about as a kid.
  • I memorized all common highly poisonous mushroom from a book at age of 5. The more ugly and dangerous, the more these mushroom attracted me.
  • Fascinations (Score:3, Informative)

    by mhollis ( 727905 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @08:57PM (#9627863) Journal

    Children quickly become fascinated with things that are a part (and sometimes a horrible part) of their lives. One could say that the purpose for children is to go forth and gather diseases from schools so that they might infect their parents. And so do adults, as in the case of the Black Death and the pandemics of bubonic plague that swept Europe.

    A prime case of this type of fascination is in the art of the time, such as that of Hieronymus Bosch [] and others who began drawing images of intense suffering and disease.

    The death caused by these pandemics may also be seen as beneficent, as it gave rise to increased rights for the peasantry, the creation of a "middle class" and the concept of general human rights, which lead to the end of the feudal system of governments. The nobility could no longer compel peasants to work their land just for their protection and the peasantry demanded actual pay for work.

    This also gave rise to the general usage of sirnames that stuck throughout generations, as the kings would tax their noblemen on the basis of the potential in numbers of persons on their lands, instead of only on the size of their holdings. When the kings revenue collectors were faced with seventeen "Johns" they would assign names to them on basis of their employment, where they lived, or how they looked instead of who their father or master was.

    One can usually find the etymology of one's sirname in the common tongue of this period.

  • The content of these PDF's is just two bitmaps set at 100 DPI.
    There is no selectabe text, the bitmap text is too small.
    If I flatten the whole thing and save it out as JPG I get a file 1/3 to 1/4 the size.
  • and a Fun Game! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Petrol ( 18446 ) on Tuesday July 06, 2004 @09:08PM (#9627932)
    I found this game [] (Black Death) some years ago. If I recall correctly it started out as a simulation of how disease spreads. It was turned into a game and every once in a while I whip it out to horrify my more 'sensible' friends. Great fun, well worth the $10 I spent a decade ago.
  • How many HPs does Recreational Water Illness have, and how much mana do I have to tap to use it?
  • Since when is an ulcer [] an infectious disease?

A bug in the hand is better than one as yet undetected.