Scots are mad for citrus!
April 27, 2016 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Scurvy Dogs - A brief overview of the history of the scurvy, brought to you by naval cartoonist Lucy Bellwood
posted by a lungful of dragon (19 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I love love love Lucy Bellwood; she is one of the artists I support on Patreon.
posted by Kitteh at 10:58 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh god, the rise of steam power curing scurvy and not the damned lime juice coming back to bite them in the face during the South Pole voyagers is like, my favorite example of a complete fuckup happening due to cascading accidents and misunderstandings
posted by The Whelk at 11:08 AM on April 27, 2016 [8 favorites]

This was fantastic. I'll buy a copy of the book as soon as it's available, plus more as gifts for my crewmates.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:26 AM on April 27, 2016

Idleword's "Scott and Scurvy" post.

Idleword is always good, and this one is an internet classic on how we humans can get something right and then be distracted by a new thing and start getting it wrong again.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:30 AM on April 27, 2016 [6 favorites]

Super find! Thank you!
posted by infini at 11:42 AM on April 27, 2016

Well, that's an awesome cartoon.
posted by suelac at 11:53 AM on April 27, 2016

Oh man I will totally buy her book when it's available to the general public! She sounds relevant to my interests.

I kept laughing out loud at this comic. "DEBENHAM IS KEEPING VERY WELL."
posted by theatro at 12:02 PM on April 27, 2016 [4 favorites]

I liked the sad naval capybara.
posted by Kitteh at 12:21 PM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]

Lucy Bellwood is a wonderful person. Her comics about rafting trips are really good, too. Though my favorite thing is the drawing of a birb that I commissioned from her, it's so good.

Plus, if you want to know how to draw tall ships, SHE HAS YOU COVERED!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:22 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I know it's a cartoon, but it still makes me sad when people still run the line that the Navy just 'ignored' Lind's work. It's not the case; they tried out his ideas and got conflicting results, and then carried citrus juice routinely from 1795 only to find that it apparently didn't work after all...
posted by AFII at 12:31 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

Great story, but I wish it had included the explanation for Vitamin C being also called ascorbic acid. Although the Wikipedia link has it.
posted by TedW at 12:34 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Never knew it was particularly human (plus capybaras and bats).
posted by Segundus at 12:43 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

(ugh, I put the link in wrong half of sentence; the cartoon deals with the post 1795 problems, the link with the bit where the Navy didn't ignore him).
posted by AFII at 12:50 PM on April 27, 2016

Long time ago, at college, there was a loose crew of folk I used to have lunch with at the cafeteria. This one guy, he doesn't show up for a week or so. He's working on his final dissertation so we all figure he's on the grind.

When he shows up again, he's looking a little ill and mentions he's been to medical services. Someone asks if they know what's wrong with him and he says: "Yeah, they think it's the onset of scurvy. I need to drink a lot of OJ."

He relates that his conversation with his doctor went something like this-

- "Have you had a change in diet at all?"
- "No, not recently."
- "What is your current diet?"
- "Let's see... Coffee, eggs, toast, uh, cheetos, and... um, whiskey?"
posted by jammy at 1:24 PM on April 27, 2016 [6 favorites]

When I was in college, we'd routinely have weekend game days where people would play Talisman or Robo Rally, and other folks would be off in a corner playing Blackbeard. I'm pretty sure Blackbeard is unwinnable. If the other players didn't get you, SCURVY would. (It was a card you could draw, and we had a house rule that you had to say it in a particular intonation... ~SCURRRRRRRVYYYY~ )
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:00 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mudede has a fascinating post about why the Scots were the brainiacs of the industrial revolution (well, in passing): Why is the chief engineer of the USS Enterprise Scottish?
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 2:17 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I suspect the genesis of this comic was the cartoonist's desire to draw those pants with all the buttons.

+1 for sad navel capybara, which is also the potential user name of the day!
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:53 PM on April 27, 2016

summary of Idleword's "Scott and Scurvy" post:
tl;dr: scurvy bad, science hard.

It does need to be said that we are still not getting Nutritional Science right and so many are making fraudulent fortunes on our misconceptions (Big Unregulated Nutrition is WORSE than Big Pharma by my standards and that's pretty bad), and speaking of Vitamin C, oh, Linus Pauling, where did your brilliant mind go wrong?

I suspect the genesis of this comic was the cartoonist's desire to draw those pants with all the buttons
Lucy B. has gotten a lot of opportunities to draw sailors' pants in her book "Baggywrinkles" (Kickstarted, currently being printed) and I eagerly await the chance to see the full color version of the Scurvy Tale, as well as all the other nautical-but-not-so-nice content.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:54 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

She forgot the most important survey/citrus-related Scot of them all: Lauchlan Rose, the developer of the first non-alcoholic citrus concentrate. The citrus-mad part may have had less to do with scientific acumen, and a lot more to do with the fact that Scots were enthusiastic planters and slavers in the colonies, so had access to the materials.

Medieval Scots doctors were using watercress to treat scurvey. There was a lot of it about.
posted by scruss at 6:05 PM on April 27, 2016

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