Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Personal Achievement. Really this time.

1. My first purchase in Ireland was McDonald's.

2. I peanut buttered toast with peanut butter left in my apartment for over three weeks.

3. While spending my first day/night in Dublin, I got a fever and had to sleep instead of go out.

4. I ate McDonald's and thought about suing the fast food chain for the damage done to my toilet.

5. While depressed about the Bears loss, I used all my phone credit and drank all my beer.

6. I was the loud American at three places and among three different nationalities...all of whom speak English as a second language. I can only imagine what the conversation was about.

7. I didn't bring my ID with me for the first time in my life and was denied entry into Scragg's Alley...with a full beard.

8. I saw a black person! They were from France.

9. I found out that Weihenstaphaner: Hefe-Weissbier is the best beer of all time and found out that the Barracks is the best pub of all time. I also found out from the Onion's Sports Dome that soccer has officially announced it is gay.

10. I stayed up until 5am my first weekend in Ireland, drinking Guinness out of a measuring cup.

11. I rode a drunk bus from Belfast to Dublin and another from Dublin to Carlow.

12. I rode a drunk bus to Dublin for St. Patrick's Day.

13. I played drinking games on a double decker bus in Scotland.

14. I drank whiskey on a bus to an airport.

15. I slept in that airport and woke up in time for the check in...but I was at the wrong airport.

16. I was homeless in Scotland for two days and showered in the sink.

17. I turned the wrong way out of a party and walked an hour and a half in the wrong direction.

18. I drank 118 different beers in 44 days.

19. I followed the river path on my bike for 15 miles without doing any physical activity for 4 months...then passed out on the path when I thought about the journey back.

20. I celebrated the Superbowl by speaking with an authentic French accent.

21. I saw where the Titanic was built in Belfast...that is the only thing I saw the whole weekend.

22. I learned Jameson is a suitable substitute for Adderall.

23. On St. Patrick's Day..."You were trying to molest all the ladies and fight all the men." Yea, I got kicked out of three restaurants, one hotel, and slept naked in a bed and breakfast, leaving blood all over the pillow.

24. The President of Carlow Golf Club bought me a pint of Heineken.

25. I popped my bike inner tube three miles from town.

26. I found a leprechaun at the end of the rainbow in Limerick. Turns out the "the pot of gold" is just full of Guinness.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ireland: Weeks 1 and 2

As you may already know, I am in Ireland. Carlow, Ireland. If you don’t know and stumbled across this blog, I am veering off my regular course of study this semester, taking an academic break from history and turning my focus to fiction and creative writing at Carlow College. It has been just over two weeks and I am excited that I still many months before May 21st gets here and I have to fly back home. Before beginning I feel the need to let readers know that this is MUCH LONGER than the posts I plan to make in the future. But because this is the first one I am not sure what to omit. Also, this is on the blog site so I feel compelled to write in a way that is more comfortable for myself (English Majors and Instructors beware: I love fragments!).
(Unfortunately, technical difficulties have prevented me from uploading pictures onto the blog site. I invite you to look through my many pictures via the links at the bottom of the article.)
Let’s get to it. I left January 5th for Dublin from O’Hare at 7:15pm and landed around 9am. No, it did not take twelve hours to get from point O to point D. The time difference between Chicago and Ireland is six hour. When we arrived at the airport I met up with the five students that are in the program with me. Two I had met previous and three I just met for the first time there in Dublin Airport. I should mention that they are all women… making the class and the field trips very interesting for me, the only male student. But I digress.
The first thing I bought in Ireland was an Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s. This was also my first experience with a different currency. I am not going to lie; I was initially baffled when 1.60 Euro came back as all change. It has remained somewhat difficult to get used to the currency. It is not the conversion rate (which is 1.33 USD to 1 Euro) but the endless amount of change that seems to build up in your pocket if you don’t utilize it. The Euro coins you can accumulate goes as follows: 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 Euro, and 2 Euros. This means you’re usually digging for change. It can be difficult at a pub sometimes because the 1 Euro coin is about the same size as the 50 cent and 2 Euro coins. While watching the Bears play the Seahawks, my friends and I had stacks of coins we were sorting through to make the buying process simpler. It can feel like a hassle sometimes but it is certainly fun to use a different currency.
The apartments we have are fairly small but it already feels like home. It has three bedrooms, one bathroom, and a kitchen/dining room/living room. We have the opportunity to pay per use for a washer and dryer nearby and wireless Internet in the Carraig Abhainn apartments comes at the price of 60 Euros for the entire semester. Our apartment manager gave us a quick tour of the apartment when we arrived and our faculty liaison Eric Derr took us around town right after.
The downside to living in the Carraig Abhainn apartments is the walking distance to town and to school. It seemed like the first trip to Aldi, a 15-20 minute walk, took an hour. Of course a long plane ride and jet lag probably added to the effect. Eric took us down Tullow Street, the thriving main street in Carlow. Tullow Street is full of people shopping in the morning and afternoon but at night locals and students swarm the streets. Eric showed us various pubs and shops that would be of interest to us including Ireland’s biggest nightclub outside of Dublin, The Foundry. After Tullow, we went down Burrin Street and turned on Kennedy Avenue toward Penny’s. Penny’s is a great place to buy clothes and bedding on a budget. We were on our own after that until we met with Eric and our Carlow College advisor Padraigin Caesar the next morning for orientation.
On the first Saturday we met some French students that also live in Carraig Abhainn. We got to know each other and made out way to the Barracks, a nice pub with a good number of High-Definition television screens. The one we could see downstairs was playing the Wild Card Playoff game between the Saints and Seahawks. Ah, it almost felt like home. Except only the few Americanos in the bar were watching.
As an American, a couple of noteworthy things happened in the two hours we were there. First, I assumed that everyone in Ireland loved Guinness. Wrong. But I still bought a Guinness for my first drink at the pub. After paying a ridiculous amount for the stout drink, I made the decision to try something else. A friend insisted I try Smithwicks, another Irish beer. After trying it once I fell in love. The ale is far superior to the many beers I have tried in the past. So that was what I drank throughout the night (At a later facility, The Med Bar, I was finally denied service until I could pronounce the drink correctly. It is not Smith-Wicks. No, no. It is Smitt-Icks. The Irish hate the letter H, some linking it to England, and therefore the pronunciation is entirely changed).
The second thing that happened caused me to feel homesick for the first time since leaving home. The football game just started back up, and I believe the Seahawks were up 31-20 over the Saints. I got distracted talking with somebody for a couple of minutes and looked back at the screen. There were now college basketball players running back and forth along the court. I was in disbelief. Did somebody really just turn off an NFL Playoff game for college basketball? Yes, they did. I was certainly far from home at that moment. Being a sports guy, I was suddenly worried that I would never see my Bears play this post-season. My cable package here is minimal and doesn’t carry the channel the NFL is on (thankfully, we talked with people in charge the following week and we are set for the Bears/Packers game as well as the Superbowl). But the Irish, and most Europeans, don’t know the game and don’t care they don’t know it. Football has too many breaks and is much too slow for them to follow.
A couple other things have happened since arriving in Ireland that took me off guard. The first happened the second day here when Shelby and I walked into a Pizza Hut and tried to order breadsticks. The guy at the counter looked at me for a moment, looking like I just spoke a completely foreign language, and said, “What?” “Breadsticks,” I say. It still didn’t register; he had no idea what I was ordering. Finally a worker nearby knew what I was asking for and said no, they didn’t have breadsticks. The man at the counter jokingly called us “bloody yanks” and I just ordered some chicken wings. Later I found that they have garlic bread, but not what we are accustom to in America.
A few days later I was in a shop looking for a shirt to wear out to the club for my first Wednesday out (Wednesdays are pretty much a Friday or Saturday night in Carlow because most of the college kids go home for the weekend). I tried a few things on and was making conversation with the lady working the register. I made my purchase and before turning to leave I cordially told her to “have a good night.” She responded with, “Oh, my night was lovely…” She thought I was asking her about her previous night. I awkwardly nodded and left after a goodbye. As expected, I have avoided that misunderstood phrase since.
Other tidbits: the Irish dislike George Bush and love Obama. I am often asked if I like Obama. I am lucky to live near Chicago because everyone here knows where that is in the States. The roads are extremely narrow near most small towns so cars often have to slow down when approaching each other. In our tour bus, we have been on roads where it is necessary to come to a complete stop to let a car go by us. Lastly, the scenery is unbelievably beautiful after spending so much time in and around cornfields.
We have six field trips included with our program and we take them the first six Fridays. So far we have taken two: A tour of County Carlow and a trip to County Wexford (pictures available via a link at the bottom of the article).
There are 26 Counties in Ireland and County Carlow is one of the smallest. We were able to travel to the most historical places in the county in one day. We visited an old church/graveyard that was constructed in about the Eleventh century and was the site that brought people to create and settle in Carlow Town. Carlow sits in a valley and the county has one of the richest farmlands in all of Ireland. The hills on one side contain limestone and the other granite; both minerals important to the building process in Ireland’s history. In one of my pictures, we are able to see three or four counties. It was really a sight. We saw other old churches and monasteries on this day, including a church built in 1204.
We ate at a pub in a local town, eating chicken goujons and chips (chips=French fries). It was good craic, and the best meal I had the whole first week after eating pasta almost the entire time. Oh, and craic means a good time. I did not smoke crack. Craic is also used like hello. “What’s the craic?” or “What’s up?” Now you know!
Then the most exciting part of the day. We traveled up the Blackstairs mountains to the Nine Stones and saw a remarkable view of the county. It really can’t be explained in words so check out the pictures. We made our way up part of the mountain on foot and witnessed beauty. ‘Nuff said. We traveled along extremely narrow roads to get back to civilization and out to the town of Tullow. From there we made our way to Duckett’s Grove, a castle used for hundreds of years and only recently donated to the State. This was the perfect ending to an unbelievable day.
Just this previous Friday, the group and I made our way to County Wexford where we toured the National Heritage Park and went to Curracloe Beach, the beach where the beginning of Saving Private Ryan was filmed. We learned a little about early living in Ireland with reconstructions of living quarters, burial sites, and monasteries. The exhibits went quite well with the lesson we had in our mandated Irish Experience class this week. The tour was followed by lunch at a pub in Wexford and then a drive to Curracloe Beach. It was pretty amazing to see the same flat beach I have witnessed in Saving Private Ryan numerous times, of course it looked a little different. The day was much more calm compared with the Carlow tour but was just as enjoyable.
While on the subject of classes, I will explain what the schedule looks like for members of the ICISP program. It varies little from person to person at Carlow College, but the College is geared toward Humanities students or those taking Humanities courses for the semester. Each class meets only once a week for a two-hour lecture (often with a ten minute break). An optional tutorial is offered and you are recommended to attend once in a while to keep up with studies and to learn a little extra information your Professor may not have gone into detail on or addressed at all during lecture. Most classes have no homework, but a midterm and a final Essay (research paper) are about 95% of the course grade, so you have to show up (continuous absences are not allowed through the ICISP program). The Professors are extremely knowledgeable, very nice, and do a good job at keeping students engaged to make the two hours fly.
I have learned quite a bit in the past two weeks about Europe from the French students we meet with often, the news, and my roommate who is from Spain. It is interesting to see the conception of America when talking with the Irish: it is the land of opportunity…Hollywood (we heard from a traveling American about a bar in Cork modeled after the movie Coyote Uglythat plays an unrealistic play list of American songs, has employees dancing on the table, and the people randomly chant, “USA! USA! USA!” because they apparently think that is what we do over in America).
Well, this was a three-day effort to write down as much as I could about the first few weeks in Carlow. Infinite paper allows me to carry on sometimes.
If you have ANY questions or would like to hear specific examples of a night out at the club, pub, around the apartments, the college, etc, you are encouraged to leave a comment on this blog or e-mail me at
To check out other study abroad options offered, go to the Kishwaukee College website for more information. Just go to Current Students and find Study Abroad Programs!
County Carlow:
County Wexford:

For four followers...

I have been doing many things since my last post. I flew a few thousand miles to Ireland for starters. I assumed I would use this blog to capture many memories, but Alas! I haven't had the slightest urge in three weeks. Perhaps in time this will change, but right now I am busy reading many works of literature for class, writing a short story and poems for creative writing, and drinking quite heavily while doing both. Besides those activities, I watch the Onion on youtube, watch Bulls highlights, walk the 100 km to town a lot, chop and bake many spuds, eat pasta, sleep, and...I suppose I drink as well.

Ireland is cool and I am feeling creative...except that creative energy isn't feeling the need to update Let's Get Ready To Ramble lately.  

I'll post what is originally from my newspaper blog until I change my ways...probably sometime late May.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The #1 stat man in Chicago: Derrick Rose

Picture: coresteams

Too big. Too fast. Too strong. Too good.

Stacey King doesn’t need to say anymore than that.

At 6”3’, Derrick Rose ignores size restrictions by breaking them all. And he likes to break ankles on the way.

Every year I find my love for a new Chicago team. In 2006, I finally fell in love with the Bears. They had a devastating defense with the revival of the Monsters of the Midway and Devin Hester was phenomenal, leading the offense to the Super Bowl--without ever taking a snap on offense.

In 2008 it was the Cubs. I loved watching Ramirez, Fukudome, DeRosa, and the rest. That was a great season…if you can somehow forget about the tragedy of rape because that’s what the Dodgers did to them in the playoffs. I’ll never forget being at Game 2, yelling at Fukudome to “SWING AT THE BALL!” And screaming at Soriano to “QUIT SWINGING AT THE FUCKING BALL!”

Then in the fall it was Kane and Toews peaking my interest in the Blackhawks and bringing my hung-over ass to freezing Wrigley Field for the Winter Classic on New Years Day. It still awes me to think that those two superstars are just a year older than me yet are in their fourth NHL season. Oh, and Stanley Cup Champions.

I guess what I am saying is that great performances by great players or likable characters attract me to sports. Enter Derrick Rose.

The summer he was drafted I remember the hype. I remember the talking heads on ESPN debating about who would be drafted first--Michael Beasley or Rose? As a hater of the NBA, I didn’t really give a shit. Moving on.

When the NBA season finally arrived, I turned on a game once in a while. It was fun to watch Rose play because he had great ball handling skills and drove the lane with such determination that teams had trouble stopping him. But all in all the team was hard to watch, going 41-41 that season. I’d watch occasionally, but NBA players REALLY pissed me off. Players like King Baby James and King Douche Varejao of Cleveland were always whining and bitching like THAT was their job and NOT basketball. So the only reason I watched was to see what Derrick Rose would do on the court. Then came the historic First Round of the 2009 Playoffs against Boston. That was the most exciting thing I’ve ever watched on TV. Period.

I’ll admit to barely watching the Bulls after Rose won the Rookie of the Year Award. I caught bits and pieces of the 2009-2010 season, but to put it in perspective, I didn’t realize the team was even in the playoffs last May.

This year is different. 

First, watching college games in person changed my perspective on the game. It is fast, intense, and takes a tremendous amount of skill that I admire now more than before. Second, the NBA is better to watch than college. They are grown men playing ball at a superior level. For instance, the ball goes in the hoop.

What really got me going on the Bulls this season was their first meeting with the Lakers on November 23. Rose was tearing up the court. He was making shots he had no business making and flying through the air in ways my Physics professor said wasn't possible. He ended the game with 30 points and a conversation with Kobe Bryant...apparently I'm not the only one that can see this young player starting to blossom into a versatile star.

Anybody who has seen the guy play knows he is good. No doubt. But have you seen him play since the middle of November? No? Then you haven’t seen the new Derrick Rose.

Rose was just 19 years old when he played his first game with the Bulls 2008. He averaged 16.8 points per game, 6.3 assists, and a .222% 3-point shot, making 16 his inaugural year. A good season for a rookie.

Last year he averaged 20.8 points, 6 assists, and a .267% 3-point shot, once again making only 16. Another good year.

Rose came to the Bulls with “established” leaders like Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, and Luol Deng in place. He tossed the ball around a lot and got these players open while making some great plays in between. Two years later, that is changing. After last year’s 26.8 points per game in the playoff series against Cleveland, it has been Derrick’s team, and everyone knows it.

Rose continues to work hard and improve parts of his game. He has the “push” shot from 10-15 feet nearly perfected, which works in tandem with his driving ability. His jump shot has been improving, although with a .479% FG average, it’s hard to say somebody can improve much.

But now something else is happening in his game that is starting to demand respect: Rose is sinking the money shot.

Derrick Rose is averaging .421% behind the arc this season; 40 3-pt field goals this year. He only made 32 in the past two is still December. Speaking of December, as of right now he is 22 for 40 in his downtown attempts for the month…55%!

What is really beginning to impress me, and the NBA, is his ability to finish and to will his team to a tough victory. He is starting to pull through in big moments with huge shots. He did it in the win last Friday against the Lakers just as he did against Houston the Saturday before. Since the middle of November, he has turned up the intensity and is looking like a man who is just going to get better.

Rose is putting up 24.7 points per game so far this season and here is why, from a statistical standpoint.

In two complete seasons, and so far this season, Derrick has had 15 games of 30 or more points. All 15 of these games have come in the past year, and 7 are from the first 22 games this season. The Bulls are 5-2 when Rose scores at least 30 points; the only two losses coming against elite teams in the Lakers and Spurs. But he isn’t hogging the ball more than a point guard should. Throw on the 8.3 assists average to his points per game and you have a dangerous playmaker touching that ball after every inbound play.

Without Rose, the Bulls look like shit. He orchestrates the offense in a way no one else on the team can replicate. Not even the spectacular C.J. Watson. Rose drives the paint so successfully that the opposing defense gets pulled into defending him. He is literally a point guard that drives the gaps like a needle, deflating the defense so the outside shooters have open shots.

And he is a man. He isn’t hot headed (who can’t show off once in a while with that kind of talent?) and you can see he is working hard to be better. Not to mention the intangibles. He hates to lose.

Think about the great players of the last 10 years or so. Who comes to mind? MJ? Kobe? LeBron? Howard? Peirce? They all get this look on their face when they drive to the hoop and destroy the defense. A look that says, “You thought you could stop me? Back off my lane.” Derrick is getting that at the age of 22.

Rose is the leader a Championship team needs. Oh, and Derrick also has more 30-point games than Kobe Bryant did in his first three years. Don’t blow that out of proportion. I’m not saying Derrick is Kobe, one of the best players of all time. 

I’m just saying that Derrick has a long way to go. I’m just saying he is on the right path.

Rose has the attitude of a champion. I can see it. I have spent the last few weeks watching tape on Jordan and Kobe and have noticed some things. Early in their careers they just went about their business as superstars. But after a few seasons they developed an intense desire to win. That desire is what transforms amazing players into pure greatness. Derrick’s attitude is beginning to mimic theirs.

This is the evolution season. He has already evolved in 22 games from very talented to MVP caliber. He IS the offense when he is on the court. He is the ever-present threat. Further, he WILL continue to get better. He is not arrogant enough to think he is just good enough. He understands he has to add to his skill set every year, and that maturity is what will separate him from the rest.

Oh, wait. I think he started to break away last spring.

Without seeing much tape on Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, Isiah Thomas, John Stockton, Kidd, Nash, etc, I don’t want to come to an ignorant conclusion about where Rose will end up in his career. I don’t claim to be an expert (yet).

Yet, with that being said, Derrick Rose will be one of the top 20 players of the present decade. Or he will be in a cast, AI style. Tempted to make a bolder suggestion, I’ll leave it at that. The proof is on display, multiple times a week. And I’m ready to absorb as much as I can from the top player in Chicago for years to come.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Chicago sports fans

For the avid Chicago sports fan, High-Definition Television is a must. HD makes everything better. It's the weed of TV. Whether watching captivating Cubs games, south side Sox games, or the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, HD TV amplifies the intensity. If you don't have HD, you didn't truly see the Patriots shwhack the Bears or Cutler getting pummeled into the snow.

High-Definition kicks ass. That's why Chicago sports people, myself included, get really pissed off when we look for a game and can't find it. We know it's on, we just looked at the schedule.


From WGN we slowly move up the channel listing and yep, there it is. Smack dab on The U, basically a WGN independent channel. HD not included. What a joke.

In 2010, it is beginning to annoy me that the Bulls are still making deals with TV stations that don't carry HD. The game tonight is against the 2nd place Pacers, a game that will either expand the Bulls first place lead in the division or close the gap. And it will be on 1998 quality television. Might as well stream it Live with a hand held camera to a PC.

Pissed about the ordeal, I decide to do some research on the matter. So I go to Google, Jesus of the Internet. I start to put in my detailed search, "why are the Bulls on channel 26." I got to "why are the" and stopped, looking at all of the search suggestions. Some strange things come up, like "why are the French called frogs," and--the question of our generation--"why are the Kardashians famous?" But then I made a startling discovery. With the exception of two results, these are the rest:

Why are the White Sox wearing green?
Why are the flags at half mast today in Illinois?
Why are the Bears wearing 99 on their helmets?
Why are the Bears playing in Toronto?
Why are the Bears wearing pink?

There you have it. Chicago people, although apparently educated about the positive results wielded from surfing Google, do not own TVs with sound. I listen to Chicago sports radio (670) so this doesn't come as much of a surprise. Chicago fans, at least a sizable portion, are completely and utterly retarded--unable to use any cognitive ability to turn an idea into a conclusive reason. And don't deny my diagnosis. I am fully qualified to make such a statement. I was a Direct Support Person for 9 months working with the aforementioned Chicago area developmentally disabled. I'm practically a doctor now.

But using my superior midwestern thinking skills, I started reasoning, coming to more reasonably reasonable reasons on the more likely reasons these Chicago related suggestions came up. One being that Google can analyze where I am and give me suggestions that fit my area. Well that makes sense.

And then the Bulls game came on.

I turn around.

I realize my first hypothesis about Chicago meat heads was right.


When the fuck did The U start providing High-Definition?

Shit. I'm a Chicago meatball.

Time to apply at McDonalds for a janitorial position.

Well at least I can watch Derrick Rose destroy in HD now.


Monday, December 6, 2010


Have you ever seen death? He doesn't stay around long, but you remember him for a while. He usually comes early in the morning or at night. Then, he slowly fades away. After a few days your just in a state of shock. You saw him, you know it, yet you don't really grasp what happened. One thing you do know: memories are all you have now. Their won't be a second chance.

Then he comes again. It's him, but he is a little different. Equally as demanding, but the emotions he places on you are different.

Have you ever seen death? He comes at the worst time. That bastard drop kicks your face right before the prom. He comes on Easter, Mother's Day, and Father's Day. He doesn't care if you have a football game, an ACT or a final exam. He likes to keep you thinking about him instead of thinking about the ones who are right in front of you.

Have you ever seen death? Have you ever stood in mud, shivering in the ice cold rain, watching raindrops fall off a casket? Have you been handed a rose that means so much to you that you watch it decompose on your bookshelf? Have you ever heard the trumpets, seen the flag folded, or felt the pulsations of a somebody as they cry in your arms? Have you ever seen a man get cut in half from the sudden loss of a parent? Have you ever seen a woman with make-up running down her cheeks clutching onto someones hand and holding tissues in the other? Or was it yourself looking in the mirror?

Has death ever come so close to your life that you mark yourself with ink to cover up the scars?

Have you ever seen death?
Death fucks up your short term, complicates your near term, and torments your long term.

And as death follows you through your life, the only thing you can do is accept it. The hard times will pass by, you'll keep living, and someone else will pass. The only thing to do is accept that death will keep checking up on us, and the only time it can stop us from living is when it's our turn. And when I die, I don't want to stop anyone from living.


-For my Dad's 5th absent Birthday.

His 132, Week 15

Just got done writing a six page paper, doing HW, and writing on the discussion board for my online History class from Antiquity to 1500. This week was the chapter on the Black Death. We learned about the sophisticated medical technology available to the people during the time, how victims prayers were absolutely never heard by God, and how rich people got to leave the city and let those lazy peasants fend for themselves. 

This is a good class, although I always wait until Sunday to do the homework assignments. I usually have fun with the discussion board, drawing on something funny and discreetly hinting at it. Well I was sick of writing tonight (yet I'm pulling an all nighter to get more HW done, including a two page reflection paper for journalism) and couldn't hold back on the stupidity of Middle Age society. Here it is, historically accurate by the way.

I am certainly glad we don't use cryptograms as a form of security against natural disease. Better yet, I'm ecstatic that last time I had the flu nobody shot a cannon off while I was trying to rest. I am glad that Guy de Chauliac started some work that led to a more scientific and clinical approach to medicine because people in the Middle Ages were clearly not receiving any blatant answers from God on how to avoid sickness. There were definite advances from this era to now-albeit slow-but we were still living near our feces until the mid 1800's (at least in confined, urban areas) and we didn't know it was bad for us to be so close to smelly poop. 

Thanks to all the past, present, and future doctors and scientists.