OK, as promised, politics entirely aside for the moment (although just for the moment, I’m afraid, as there’s just too much material out there, and more every day).
Sure, the war in Iraq, and the jihadists’ campaign to bring down the West generally, get most of the headlines. But today’s item is about a new weapon in a much older war – the fight against hiccups.
Hiccups, known to the medical profession as singultus, (and sometimes spelled hiccough, though the pronunciation is invariant) have tormented our race throughout history; as far back as the first century A.D., Pliny the Elder recommended curing them with vinegar in which chervil seeds had been soaked. Fetuses have been observed hiccuping in utero. The worst case on record, according to the folks at Guinness, was this 68-year bout:
Charles Osborne (1894–1991) of Anthon, Iowa, USA, started hiccupping in 1922 while attempting to weigh a hog before slaughtering it. He was unable to find a cure, and continued hiccupping until February 1990.
Folk remedies abound, as do online collections of them, such as this one, where you can find suggestions such as:
- Make yourself vomit.
- Press yourself to the carpet as hard as you can and hold it.
- Slide a well-greased length of thin, flexible rubber tubing through one nostril to the point where it just barely touches the back of the throat.
The method that I have always recommended to family and friends is to eat a large spoonful of granulated white sugar, which seems to enjoy a gratifying success rate, and is rather more pleasant than pressing oneself to the carpet, and certainly more so than that business with the greased rubber tube.
But technology marches ever on. Introducing the adroitly named “Hic-Cup”, a newfangled drinking vessel that may end this ancient scourge once and for all. Here’s how it works:
Through the use of natural galvanic action, a mild ionic flow is created that initiates a sub-sensory bio-electric therapy.
Got that? I know, it seems so obvious in retrospect, but that’s the way it always is with ideas whose time has come. But caveat singultor: according to the Hic-Cup website’s FAQ, if you have a pacemaker, you should consult your doctor before using this product. You’ll probably be talking to him sometime soon anyway.
Learn more here.