Over the last week as part of my regular blog reading I’ve commented on a couple of blogs.
The first was on Science for Life. 365 which is a post a day blog by an Australian scientist and writer Sarah Keenihan. On Day 257. Killing smallpox and parasites Sarah wrote about her vaccination in Canada before coming to live in Australia. I made a comment about being vaccinated and vaccinating others and mentioned my pedantic habit of referring to vaccination in the context of smallpox immunisation and immunisation for everything else. To me Edward Jenner vaccinated with cowpox (Vaccinia virus). The process was immunisation and vaccination specifically refers to using Vaccinia virus (or a derivative) to immunise against smallpox. I once explained this to a work colleague and she told me I was wrong. She said I didn’t understand vaccination is universally accepted as the term to protect people by stimulating their immune systems and had nothing to do with smallpox. I didn’t say anything. She didn’t have a science background and it wasn’t worth an argument. When I was a lot younger I recall the early iterations of the Australian Immunisation Handbook had an explanatory footnote on the difference between immunisation and vaccination. It last appeared in the sixth edition. I’ve scanned the relevant pages and made them available in this link. I think in earlier iterations the explanation was different.
The second blog I commented on was Sybaritica by John Thompson who lives in Canada, practices law, travels the court circuit of regional and remote Canada and seems to be more Chinese than me. Recently John posted about custard apples and it made me think back to my childhood growing up in Brisbane and being an avid fan. It’s been a long time since I had a custard apple even though they’re readily available. I made a comment on John’s blog and mentioned that I didn’t recall them being that laden with seeds. I saw one in the supermarket on the weekend and knew I had to buy one.
The one I bought had lots of seeds. Perhaps as a child I swallowed them all Anyway, it was delicious.