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Longchamp's woman takes a NY Fashion Week trip to Paris

Kendall Jenner and Liu Wen took a break from the catwalk to sit front row for Longchamp's second appearance at New York Fashion Week. Creative director Sophie Delafontaine was moved by New York City's concrete jungle to tell the season's story of a woman traveling from the Big Apple to Paris. (Feb. 11)        
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Maestro Teddy Abrams, the Louisville Orchestra's rock star
At 32, Teddy Abrams is the youngest conductor of a major orchestra in the United States, and he's done what most orchestras are desperate to do: increased the audience, young and old. Martha Teichner reports.
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CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Stan Lee’s former manager arrested on elder abuse charges
LOS ANGELES — A former business manager of Stan Lee was arrested Saturday on elder abuse charges involving the late comic book legend. Keya Morgan was taken into custody in Arizona on an outstanding arrest warrant after being charged by Los Angeles County prosecutors earlier this month. Morgan faces felony charges including theft, embezzlement, forgery...
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New York Post
Elle Fanning transformed by Cannes
The only downside of her Cannes may have been when she collapsed at the Chopard Trophee dinner on Monday.
New York Post
Ransomware tool causing chaos in Baltimore was developed by the NSA
A recent spate of ransomware attacks in Baltimore and other cities was executed using a tool developed by the National Security Agency. Thousands of people have been locked out of their computers in the past three weeks. The post Ransomware tool causing chaos in Baltimore was developed by the NSA appeared first on Digital Trends.
Digital Trends | Technology News and Product Reviews
In photos: Memorial Day weekend
Across the United States people are paying tribute to fallen military service members over the Memorial Day weekend. The holiday is observed on the last Monday in May.
CNN.com - RSS Channel
Putting women on a pedestal
New York City's Central Park is filled with statues honoring noted historical figures, even a famous dog – and all of them are male. Nationwide, there are more than 5,000 outdoor statues of historical figures, but less than 8% of them are of women. Faith Salie reports on the Monumental Women Campaign, and Equal Visibility Everywhere, two groups that say it is time to put more women up on a pedestal.
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
"The Ballad of Huck & Miguel": Huck Finn revisited, in today's L.A.
Tim DeRoche reframes Mark Twain's story of comradeship as a modern-day boy-adventurer and an undocumented Mexican immigrant rafting down the Los Angeles River
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
2 Dead After Tornado Rips Through Motel and Mobile Home Park in Oklahoma
'We have absolutely experienced a traumatic event,' said the El Reno mayor
TIME - powered by FeedBurner
FCA and Renault to go public on potential tie-up
Fiat Chrysler and Renault are set to confirm talks on a potential tie-up on Monday, with the board of the French carmaker called to an early morning meeting to discuss the situation.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will focus on ‘troubling, realistic’ emotions
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is reportedly the title for this year's entry in the series. The game is also said to draw inspiration from the controversial No Russian level of 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The post Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will focus on ‘troubling, realistic’ emotions appeared first on Digital Trends.
Digital Trends | Technology News and Product Reviews
Trump's Japan trip: Sumo match, hibachi dinner, playing down North Korea's firing of 'small weapons'
President Donald Trump tweeted that he was not concerned about the firing of "some small weapons" and praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.        
USATODAY - News Top Stories
President Trump’s Day in Japan: Sumo, Cheeseburgers, Golf and Angry Tweets
Sumo diplomacy, to sum it up
TIME - powered by FeedBurner
Almanac: The birth of Dracula
The immortal vampire first saw the light of day when Irish author Bram Stoker's horror novel, inspired by the legend of Vlad the Impaler, was published on May 26, 1897. Jane Pauley reports.
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Life on Mars? Sorry Brian Cox, that’s still science fiction | Philip Ball
The utopian vision of humans colonising the red planet to solve our energy and population crises is a misguided fantasyWho said this? “I’ve been having to say everywhere I go that there is no planet B, there is no escape hatch, there is no second Earth; this is the only planet we have.” If you’re a science fiction fan the answer might surprise you: it was the writer Kim Stanley Robinson, whose Mars trilogy is an ultimately utopian series of tales that describe the terraforming of Mars – planetary engineering to give it an Earth-like environment – over the course of several centuries after the Earth perishes from overpopulation and ecosystem collapse.Robinson’s pessimism about planetary settlement seems out of step with the spirit of the times. Unveiling his Blue Moon project two weeks ago – a robotic lunar lander to deliver the infrastructure for a crewed moon base – Amazon’s owner, Jeff Bezos, portrayed it as the bold first step towards human colonisation of the solar system. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Swedish embassy tours UK by bus to give reassurance over Brexit
Ambassador aims to address concerns of Swedish businesses and Swedes living in BritainSweden is embarking on a tour of the United Kingdom to reassure its 100,000 expatriates and British-based Swedish businesses worried about the threats posed by a hard Brexit.Torbjörn Sohlström, the Swedish ambassador to the UK, said thousands of Swedes in the UK were very concerned about their right to remain in the UK and that “taking this pop-up embassy to them across the country will hopefully reassure them”. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
My aunt has died – and with her goes a treasure trove of family memories | Emma Brockes
My mother’s sister had a terrifyingly good memory. Who will now recall our childhood sweethearts – or her mother’s lover?The loss of an aunt isn’t one of the big deaths. I told myself that last week. My cousin had emailed with news that her mother, my aunt, had died unexpectedly in the week. She was my mother’s younger sister and lived far away in suburban Johannesburg. I hadn’t spoken to her since November, when I’d called on my birthday. Nothing structural in my life had changed. Related: We need to talk about death: I was not prepared for how lonely grief would be | Vanessa Billy Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Man killed in Hawaii shark attack, witness says skin 'just torn off'
A man from California died after an apparent shark attack in Hawaii on Saturday, officials said.
Sport
Before Netscape: The forgotten Web browsers of the early 1990s
From the archives: Does anybody remember Erwise? Viola? Cello? Let's reminisce.
Ars Technica
Likely Tornado Kills At Least 2 In Oklahoma
The storm struck the city of El Reno late Saturday night, causing severe damage to a motel and mobile home park.
News : NPR
Bettor’s Wish overcomes tough post to win Rooney at Yonkers
Trainer Chris Ryder felt he had the best horse in the $300,000 Art Rooney Final on Saturday night at Yonkers Raceway and Bettor’s Wish did not disappoint him. Bettor’s Wish, the 4-5 favorite, driven by Dexter Dunn won by six lengths over Branquinho in 1:51 4/5. Air Force Hanover finished third. “It was a tough...
New York Post
Pack Smarter For Your Next Business Trip
The Genius Pack Aerial Hardside Carry On Spinner is a lightweight suitcase with plenty of room for business casual essentials and more.
Entrepreneur - Start, run and grow your business.
How a 92nd Street Y Fixture Spends Her Sundays
Susan Engel has been curating the cultural center’s marquee event, 92Y Talks, for 37 years. She’s so devoted to her work, she even lives on 92nd Street.
NYT > Home Page
Annie Lennox Cleans House
Ms. Lennox, in her seventh decade, has deconstructed herself and her various personas for a compelling museum self-portrait.
NYT > Home Page
Garlicky, Grilled and Always Sublime
Marinated in a rub of cracked whole spices, this barbecue pork is what firing up the grill is all about.
NYT > Home Page
DiCaprio and Bloom attend Formula E film premiere
Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom graced the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival last week for the world premiere of a stunning new film about Formula E.
CNN.com
Jets add to GM search with Vikings’ Paton, Seahawks’ Fitterer
The Jets continue to reach out to potential general manager candidates as they set up interviews to fill the vacant role. The latest names to surface are Vikings assistant general manager George Paton and Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer. The Jets have requested permission to interview both men, according to the NFL Network....
New York Post
Top UK scientist urges people to take vitamin D supplements
Geneticist Steve Jones, formerly a sceptic, says case for doing so is overwhelmingOne of Britain’s leading scientists has urged people to take vitamin D supplements, particularly children, who spend an hour less outside than they did 10 years ago.The geneticist Steve Jones told the Hay literary festival in Wales the health case for taking them was now overwhelming. “I never thought I would be a person who would take vitamin supplements, I always thought it was absolute nonsense, it’s homeopathy. I now take vitamin D every day,” he said. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night DLC stirs controversy for Kickstarter backers
The post-launch DLC for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has been revealed. The $10 Iga's Back Pack DLC that will allow players to earn the Swordwhip weapon, however, has stirred controversy among the game's Kickstarter backers. The post Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night DLC stirs controversy for Kickstarter backers appeared first on Digital Trends.
Digital Trends | Technology News and Product Reviews
Mobile gaming’s strength is its community
Community is mobile gaming's strength, and here are three ways companies can refocus on it to ensure that all consumers are tapped into their mobile games.
VentureBeat | Tech News That Matters
Learn how to boost your smartphone battery life with these tips
Our smartphones are an integral part of everyday life, but to keep them functioning at their best for the long haul, it's critical to preserve battery life. Here are some easy steps you can take every day to boost your phone's battery life. The post Learn how to boost your smartphone battery life with these tips appeared first on Digital Trends.
Digital Trends | Technology News and Product Reviews
Charlton Athletic v Sunderland: League One play-off final – live!
Updates from the 3pm BST kick-off at WembleyInterview: Lee Cattermole on his injury fightAnd why not email Rob with your thoughts 2.14pm BST Pre-match reading Related: Lee Cattermole: ‘There were two years when I shouldn’t have been on the pitch’ 2.01pm BST Darren Pratley replaces Albie Morgan in Charlton’s midfield; Morgan isn’t even on the bench so he might be injured. Sunderland are unchanged from the team that drew 0-0 at Portsmouth in the semi-final second leg, but they do have Aiden McGeady on the bench.Charlton Athletic (4-D-2) Phillips; Dijksteel, Bauer, Sarr, Purrington; Bielik, Cullen, Pratley; Aribo; Taylor, Parker.Substitutes: Maxwell, Solly, Pearce, Lapslie, Forster, Reeves, Williams. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
PHOTOS: From Sumo Wrestling To Grand Parades, How World Leaders Try To Impress Trump
President Trump is in Japan this weekend, the latest country to try to get in his good graces with a good show.
News : NPR
Toronto Rapture
We have that and more in Sunday’s NBA newsletter. The Toronto Raptors are going to the NBA Finals. The Toronto Raptors are going to the NBA Finals. THE TORONTO RAPTORS ARE GOING TO THE NBA FINALS. The Raptors won another close game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday to finish off a 4-2 series (after losing the first two games!) and stamp a trip to the NBA Finals. If they gave out awards for MVPs of conference finals series, Kawhi Leonard would get it: he was extraordinary again both on offense and in defending Giannis Antetokounmpo. Nick Nurse switching Kawhi onto primary Giannis duty a few games ago has made all the difference in the world in this series. That risky trade for Kawhi sure did pay off for Masai Ujiri and the Raptors. It’s a massively disappointing finish to the season for the Bucks, who won 60 games and were 10-1 in the playoffs before Toronto ripped off four straight to take this series. At least they have Giannis for the foreseeable future. On that note, ESPN’s Malika Andrews published a piece basically at the buzzer citing a source saying that Giannis is more likely to sign a super-max extension next summer if the Bucks make the Finals in 2020. She then asked an unrelated question in the press conference. Giannis looked furious as she asked, and then dipped out after Khris Middleton (who seemed completely unaware of the situation) signaled it was Giannis’ question to answer. Middleton’s reaction was incredible. Anyway, the Bucks’ summer is going to be stressful. The Raptors will get there, too. But first: THE NBA FINALS. Game 1 tips off on Thursday. Scores Bucks 94, Raptors 100Toronto wins series 4-2 Schedule L.A. Sparks at Las Vegas Aces is streaming on Twitter at 8 ET. No more NBA games until Thursday. Links Programming note: no GMIB on Monday barring big news. Kawhi and Giannis met twice at the rim. It was heaven. The Storm are down a Breanna Stewart and a Sue Bird and still beat the Mercury (who were down Diana Taurasi) thanks to Natasha Howard. How the Raptors pulled off the run that got them back in the game. Napheesa Collier had an incredible debut for the Lynx in a win over the Sky. The dude Matt Ellentuck has been telling you ... Frank Vogel has the absolutely bizarre belief that the Lakers need shooting around LeBron James. Strange take, but whatever. And finally: there was a lot magical about the Raptors’ celebration, but nothing better than the love the crowd gave to Kyle Lowry during the trophy presentation. Be excellent to each other.
Sports News, Scores and Fan Opinion Powered by 320 Sports Blogs
Monsoon founder seeks CVA to avoid fashion chain's collapse
Peter Simon pledges up to £34m to support struggling business and convince landlords to slash rentsThe founder of fashion chain Monsoon Accessorize is ready to inject £34m into the struggling company in an effort to convince landlords to agree to rent cuts as part of a deal designed to thwart its collapse.Peter Simon is seeking a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) for the business, a form of insolvency procedure that has proved unpopular with property owners because they are asked to accept lower income to ensure that shops stay open. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer moves to Epic Games, Fortnite esports
Nate Nanzer, the founding commissioner of the Overwatch League, will be leaving his post to join Epic Games and oversee competitive Fortnite. Nanzer will be inheriting a robust esports scene, but one besieged by cheating. The post Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer moves to Epic Games, Fortnite esports appeared first on Digital Trends.
Digital Trends | Technology News and Product Reviews
Music fans at We Are FSTVL collapse in east London heat
Festivalgoers fainted as they queued three hours and others reportedly trampled at barriersCrowds pushed through security gates at a London festival after some festivalgoers collapsed in the heat as they queued to get in, according to reports.Witnesses said a lack of wristbands saw people queuing for up to three hours in hot temperatures at We Are FSTVL in Upminster, east London, on Saturday. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Van life: Making one's home on the open road
From baby boomers to millennials, some people have found a road map to happiness by living in RVs or converted vans and school buses
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Padres vs. Blue Jays: Take a shot on San Diego and its stud rookie
We’re fast and now we’re first. If you are reading this, you are not alone. According to a new quarterly book from the Alliance for Audited Media, your Sunday New York Post (Amed Rosario) has blown past the lazy Daily News (Robinson Cano) in circulation and is now the city’s most-read tabloid. Have to believe...
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New York Post
What Zammo did next: Lee MacDonald on life after Grange Hill
He found fame playing a schoolboy heroin addict, started a second career as a boxer … then lost it all in a car crash. Now he’s heading back to our TV screens with a role in EastEndersGoing to meet Lee MacDonald feels more like a reunion with an old schoolmate than an interview. He is an old schoolmate not just to me but to a generation. Actually, I’m a bit older: my gang was Tucker Jenkins, Trisha Yates, Tommy Watson and Benny Green. But my brother is MacDonald’s – Zammo McGuire’s – age, so he was round our house. And then, when his Big Storyline happened, he was round pretty much everyone’s house. Including the then US president’s.MacDonald played Zammo in Phil Redmond’s children’s drama Grange Hill for six years in the 80s. The epitome of the cheeky chappie, Zammo was a bruiser and charmer; a bit rough around the edges and often in trouble for fighting or letting off stink bombs. Never malicious, mind, and with lovely blue eyes. Then he became a heroin addict, remember? Slumped in the toilet, with a glazed, out-of-it look. That was some storyline for a kids’ TV show. He became the face of an anti-drug campaign. Look, smack can get anyone – even nice Zammo. Just Say No. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Want to save the UK steel industry? Brexit isn’t the answer | Gareth Stace
Leaving the EU has the potential to cause a great deal of damage to exports, weakening an already troubled sector• Gareth Stace is director general of the trade association UK SteelThe difficulties facing British Steel have quickly become part of the Brexit debate, with commentators variously pointing to our membership of the EU or our decision to leave as an underlying cause. Business is naturally cautious about entering into political debates, but it should not remain silent when it features so prominently in the public discourse. Industry has a responsibility to ensure its views are accurately represented and to establish the facts as they relate to our sector.There can be no doubt that the ongoing Brexit uncertainty has contributed significantly to British Steel’s problems. Unable to decipher what the UK/EU trading relationship will be in just five months’ time, planning has become fiendishly complicated for both UK exporters and their EU customers. The timing is particularly bad, with the EU having recently imposed “safeguard” measures to prevent a surge in steel imports resulting from protectionist action elsewhere. Post-Brexit, UK steel exports to Europe will be restricted by these measures, with a disorderly no-deal Brexit affecting them particularly badly. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Pakistan World Cup guide: gameplan, key player and prediction
Despite a run of defeats in 50-over games, there are reasons for optimism – not least the form of batsman Babar Azam and previous success in EnglandAhead of the World Cup, in one white ball cricket format – ODIs – Pakistan have not played well lately; in white ball cricket’s shorter format – T20s – they have been the No 1 team for well over a year now. Somehow the loss of 10 consecutive official ODIs does not feel as bad as it should as the team has hardly played any of the games at full strength.Against Australia in the UAE this March, Pakistan rested seven of their top players as a part of programme to rest and rotate for the World Cup. And when they lost four games in a row this month against the No1-ranked ODI side in the world, England, the team came out with a lot of positives. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Test performance, gender, and temperature
New results raise serious questions about what past studies have been looking at.
1 h
Ars Technica
A different Oregon unfolds in the wild, wild East
I do it every time: overschedule a visit to Portland, Ore. Leave it to a New Yorker to make one of the country’s most laid-back cities seem like a giant escape room with a gantlet of back-to-back appointments. Thankfully, I saved time for a vacation afterward. I craved a respite where I could withdraw....
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Sport
An environmental hero has his moment — and so do the photos of places he loved
I just had to respond to “Chasing After Edward Abbey” (Christopher Reynolds, May 19). Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire” is one of the most accurate depictions of nature I have ever read. Also super photo of Arches National Park by Reynolds. I was pleased to see the Travel section could devote that much...
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Sport
On a trip to Guatemala with my toddler, her grandparents' fears give way to fun
When I told my parents I was bringing my 3-year-old daughter with me on assignment to Guatemala City, I heard a gasp. “What? Are you crazy?” my mother said over the phone. She turned her attention to my father, who was listening in. “She’s taking Cora to Guatemala. Can you believe it?” “She’s crazy,”...
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Sport
When Human Fat Was a Popular Cure-All
One night in 1731, Cornelia de Bandi burst into flames. When the 62-year-old Italian countess was found the next morning, her head and torso had been reduced to ash and grease.Only her arms and legs remained intact. After examining what was left of her body, a local physician concluded, in a report cited years later, that the conflagration “was caused in her entrails” by the variety of combustible materials to be found there, including alcohol and fat, “an oily liquid ... of an easily combustible nature.” An early instance of what would come to be known as “spontaneous human combustion,” de Bandi was one of many cases later studied by the French agronomist Pierre-Aimé Lair. If there was a common denominator to these otherwise unexplained phenomena, Lair concluded, it was the fact that most of them involved corpulent older women with a penchant for drink, thus combining fat and alcohol in a literally explosive mix. In addition to the fuel that excess body fat provided, which was rendered even more combustible when “penetrated by alcoholic substances,” surplus fat was said to create higher levels of hydrogen, making the body especially flammable. Lair concluded: Thus there is no cause for surprise that old women, who are in general fatter and more given to drunkenness, and who are often motionless like inanimate masses, during the moment of intoxication, should experience the effects of combustion. This post is adapted from Forth’s upcoming book.Whatever Lair might have thought about fat old ladies who drank too much, in his report fat is about little more than the chemicals that comprised it and the properties that rendered them combustible. Scientifically breaking the stuff of life down into its components was part of a general process of quantification that gained momentum during the 17th century to become pervasive in the 18th and 19th.This was the period during which corpulence underwent a process of medicalization that would eventually contribute to our present views of “obesity” as a disease. Older ideas about fatness and mirth were reconceptualized in more mechanistic terms, which would only gain momentum in the following years. With the development of height and weight tables in the 19th century, the stage was set for the further development of ideas about metabolism, nutritional requirements and eventually the body mass index of our own time. But at the start of the modern era, fat played a very different role in Western cultures—that of a medical commodity.Whether procured from plant, animal, or human sources, in one form or another fat has been an important element in the European pharmacopoeia since ancient times. For reasons that are not quite clear, a medicinal interest in human fat was especially pronounced in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1543, the physician Andreas Vesalius instructed anatomists who boiled bones for the study of skeletons to carefully collect the layer of fat “for the benefit of the masses, who ascribe to it a considerable efficacy in obliterating scars and fostering the growth of nerves and tendons.” Vesalius knew what he was talking about. At the time, human fat was widely considered—and not just by “the masses”—to be efficacious in healing wounds, and was typically harvested from the recently deceased. In October 1601, after a particularly bloody battle during the siege of Ostend, Dutch surgeons descended upon the battlefield to return with “bags full of human fat,” presumably to treat their own soldiers’ wounds.[Read: Why scientists can’t agree on whether it’s unhealthy to be overweight ]If the fat of warriors was efficacious, that of executed criminals was easier to lay one’s hands on. What was called “poor sinner’s fat” was rendered from the bodies of the recently executed and used to treat sprains, broken bones, and arthritis. Beyond such uses, human fat was also prescribed as a painkiller or to treat sciatica and rheumatism, while dead men’s sweat was collected for the treatment of hemorrhoids. Until the mid-18th century, executioners in the city of Munich, who often prescribed and administered homemade remedies from the corpses of their doomed clients, had a lucrative trade in the fat they delivered to physicians by the pound.Knowing what would become of their corpses was a source of great anguish for the condemned, many of whom believed in the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of bodies and were not consoled by the thought that their fat, flesh, blood, and bones might be parceled out for the benefit of others. Still, business was business, and, against the wishes of donors, executioners continued to supply fat, blood, and other body parts to those willing to buy them. And it wasn’t just ordinary people buying such things. The wise druggist kept large supplies of human fat (Axungia hominis) on hand alongside numerous other solids and liquids derived from human corpses, a class of materia medica known as “mummy.” If fortune smiled on the fat trade when the rate of executions increased, it would have been positively beaming during the Terror days of the French Revolution. According to some reports, certain Parisian butchers started offering their customers an exciting new item: graisse de guillotiné, supposedly procured from the corpses of the freshly executed.What was it about human fat that made it so sought-after? And what was so special about the fat of slain criminals in particular? The practice no doubt echoes the Catholic cult of holy relics, whereby saints were considered to be fully present in their bodies after death, as well as in the objects they touched. Yet this mystical appreciation only explains so much, and most executed criminals were no saints. Rather, the use of fat for medical purposes was perceived as a natural practice rather than a magical one, and thus was based on assumptions about the physical properties of the substance itself. Despite the apparent obsolescence of many of these beliefs, the claim that fat could heal wounds was not entirely misguided. Physicians today know that adipose tissue is highly “angiogenic,” meaning that it promotes the growth of new blood vessels from preexisting ones.Early modern people may have used fat in this way simply because it seemed to work. The reasons they gave for why it worked seem less persuasive to most modern readers. According to the 16th-century Swiss physician Paracelsus and his followers, some of the vital force of the human being lingered in the body after death. This vitality, they contended, was strongest in the bodies of healthy young men who had died violently, especially—as in the case of an execution—when death came so swiftly that the life force had no time to evacuate the body. The provenance of this insight is uncertain, and even Paracelsus admitted to having received much of his medical knowledge from executioners trading in such substances. Nevertheless, the use of human fat remained widespread among laypeople and doctors alike, even among more orthodox Galenic physicians.This well-known trafficking in human fat inevitably gave rise to fears that the precious matter might be harvested in less legitimate ways, perhaps for nefarious purposes. This fear was made plain in Spanish encounters in the New World. The soldier and chronicler Bernal Díaz del Castillo recorded how, following his first battle with the Tlascans in the Andes, he opened up the body of a plump slain Indian to dress his soldiers’ wounds with the dead man’s burned fat, and that in subsequent battles more Indian fat was used to heal wounded Spaniards. This was standard medical procedure among the conquistadors, another of whom—Hernando de Soto—was also said to have used Indian fat as a medicine.Yet harvesting fat was a boon for sailors too. Before leading the expedition that would bring down the Aztec Empire, Hernán Cortés supposedly caulked 13 boats using the fat of the dead. Insofar as they too ascribed great powers to fat, the native population was understandably terrified by such behavior. In the Andes, rumors that the Spanish were exporting boatloads of fat back to Spain for medical purposes prompted the largest native rebellion of the first 200 years of Spanish rule. So durably entrenched did this fear become that, to the present day, Andeans tell stories about a bogeyman called the pishtaco (often depicted as a white man) who harvests Indian fat for medical and cannibalistic purposes. According to the missionary Jean-Baptiste Labat, similar concerns caused alarm among Africans who had been sold into slavery. Upon disembarking in America, the frightened captives told each other, their fat and marrow would be extracted and melted to make oil for the Europeans.Concerns about the illicit harvesting of fat were not only by-products of colonial violence. Back in Europe, allegations of unauthorized fat extraction cropped up in numerous contexts. In a tradition extending back into the Middle Ages, especially in Germanic cultures, many thieves believed that their nocturnal pilfering would go unnoticed if they burned a candle made of human fat or the fingers of dead babies. As long as these “thieves’ candles” burned, it was said, burglars acquired powers of invisibility while homeowners would remain blissfully asleep. So powerful was this belief that in the 16th and 17th centuries several thieves were convicted of murdering people just to make such candles. How ironic, then, that the murderers’ own fat would probably have been parceled off after their executions, to be used in medicines and other concoctions.[Read: How vegetable oils replaced animal fats in the American diet]That human fat would be a mainstay in European pharmacies is thus not all that surprising. Yet the fact that druggists kept supplies of human fat and other body parts on hand does not mean the practice always had the seal of approval of medical specialists, many of whom had long argued that there was nothing special about human as opposed to any other kind of fat. In fact, by the mid-18th century, professional medical interest in human fat had already started to wane. “At present,” wrote the physician John Hill, “we are grown wise enough to know, that the Virtues ascribed to the Parts of the human Body are all either imaginary, or such as may be found in other animal Substances.” Such disapproval was compounded by a growing competition between doctors and executioners for access to dead bodies, the result being that the procuring of corpses was eventually taken out of the hands of executioners altogether.Despite these changes, it took more than the frowning of a few doctors to stamp out the clandestine trafficking in human fat. A thriving fat trade had been reportedly operating for years out of the dissecting theaters of Paris. Its eventual discovery in the early 19th century was kept quiet for fear of alarming the public. Before being caught red-handed by the police agents who had been tipped off to their activities, medical assistants connected to various dissecting rooms had joined forces with their counterparts at the Faculty of Medicine to bring the fat to the people. They were hardly discreet about their activities, which seem to have been well-known to everyone except the faculty administrators. Police raids revealed that at least four of the entrepreneurs had been storing the stuff at home. One was caught with massive amounts of it in his apartment. Another, presumably lacking more suitable containers, had filled two decorative sandstone fountains with purloined fat. While a fair amount was sold to medical charlatans and used to grease the wheels of medical carts, it was the city’s enamelists and fake-pearl-makers who benefited most from this trade, thinking that they were receiving fat procured from horses or dogs. Or so they said.This post is adapted from Forth’s upcoming book, Fat: A Cultural History of the Stuff of Life.
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World Edition - The Atlantic
Elon Musk Gets a Boring Customer and More This Week in Car News
Las Vegas goes into the digging biz with Musk, GM unveils a new electric nervous system for its cars—plus the Rolls-Royce Champagne Chest of the Week.
1 h
WIRED
Trump and Pelosi's War of Words Tops This Week's Internet News Roundup
There's no end to this battle in sight.
1 h
WIRED