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Dan Olmsted

thanks teresa. as i said at the start this is speculative and a scenario more than a "proof' -- if such a thing was possible! but the more i get into it the more i see things that tend to buttress it. stay tuned ... and thanks as always...

 Teresa Conrick


This is a fascinating piece of history that you are unraveling and sharing. I hate to say that I am enjoying it as we know the "monster" is coming and it is horrific but watching it unfold is awesome. Thanks!

Dan Olmsted

Gary, I'll make that clearer. Yes, she and her family moved to Gates Avenue from another address (on Central) on May 1, and then the reports say that "On May 9 she was sick."

Gary Ogden

Dan: What does it mean that Lettie Caruso "got sick as soon as she arrived"? Was she a newcomer to the house, or did I miss something?

Gary Ogden

False scientist: You are no doubt correct. I had never before participated in a long string of comments including several commenters of these types. But I find great pleasure in writing, and of putting out good information, so I've kind of enjoyed it. It certainly doesn't make me upset, considering the source. My last comment (to the Op-Ed) was, I think, thoughtful and polite, and edifying, but for some reason, it didn't post after being moderated. Perhaps they have closed the comments. It matters not. The bulk of the commenters were supportive of Philippe Diaz, and that is all that matters.

Dan Olmsted

tim, thanks for pointing this out. i meant to convey that nothing about my speculative theory about 1916 would be pertinent to these sweeteners today.

False scientists make me laugh

Gary- many of the pro vaxx extremists or trolls seem to be very frail people- alcoholics, health problems etc.

Birgit Calhoun

I grew up in Bremen, Germany. Our part of town was not affected by polio in 1950. But there were certain open water swimming pools we were not allowed to go to. The pools that had chlorinated waters were open and they did not require an entrance ticket. That was great. We went every day during summer vacations. Nobody had any idea what caused the spread of polio. But we all were quite aware of it.

We did not eat that much sugar. My grandfather was a beekeeper and we ha honey year-round.

Gary Ogden

The word gyre always make me think of W.B. Yeats "The Second Coming." But tomorrow being the centenary of the Easter Rebellion, I'm also reminded of "Easter 1916."
"All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born."
Which leads me to a terrible beauty birthed just this month, on about the first. That terrible beauty has the vaccine-autism deniers, for the first time, back on their heels. And they won't recover. THEY WON'T RECOVER. Even the trolls and astroturfers in the Op-Ed comments seem to have either hunkered down, or completely gone off the rails. I've been hammering one in particular, who thinks that "evolutionary medicine," whatever the hell that is, will do the trick. Thanks, Dan. Sorry this is a bit off-topic, but your writing always inspires me.

Jeannette Bishop


Dan that is very kind of you to show interest.

The sorghum molasses did not come from the grain - but from the entire plant. The entire plant was squeezed.

I have raised some - It is very pretty stuff, it is tall and looks a lot like corn, but unlike corn it seeds at the top of the plant, and does not in ears. Also as my kids and I found out if you walk through it - the leaves for some reason gives you painful cuts like - paper cuts. Ouch!

cia parker

It used to be that babies got polio from lack of modern sanitary facilities, but they still had placental immunity from their mothers, 100% of whom had had polio, usually subclinical, and had antibodies to it. And so the babies also got usually subclinical immunity to polio from infections made milder by their mothers' antibodies which gave them lifetime protection.

Not that long ago, 100% of Egyptians and Indians (in India) had immunity to polio before the vaccines. I think it was the insecticides and pesticides, new in the 1890s, which turned polio into such a horrifying disease for a few of those who contracted it. The vast majority continued to get mild or subclinical cases of it.

Tim Lundeen

@ Dan Olmsted -- as recently as 6 years ago, about 1/3 of corn syrup samples had mercury content from the Chloralkali process used in older plants.

Most sugar is grown from gmo crops and may have relative high levels of glyphosate.

Not to mention the metabolic dysregulation caused by high fructose/sucrose intake.

Not exactly "harmless" :-)


Very interesting.

Laura Hayes


This chronicling of history reads like tension-filled, mystery-unraveling, page-turning fiction...can't wait for the next installment!

Thanks, as always, for sharing your in-depth and fascinating research with us here on AoA!

Dan Olmsted

benedetta -- thanks for this enlightening slice of life. i looked up sorghum which is made from a grain of that name; corn syrup of course is from corn; molasses is from sugar and so is "golden syrup" although people might have used the words interchangeably. i wouldn't worry about any of them today except for the calories!


Oppps Just finished talking with my Mother and she said they stopped making their own sorghum way back when she was little - no need - they could buy it cheap already made. She said it was just as well cause most of the men would burn the sorghum on the vaporizer - few were a good hand at it anyway.

But she did enjoy the joe foam parties - dipping the sorghum sticks into the foam, and licking it off. The foam was usually thrown away so I guess they had parties to keep from wasting it.


Ohhhh Dan;

I remember when it came out that fat and eggs was bad for us- Grandpa never believed an egg could be bad. But we all were thrilled at least that it was not our sugar and white flour - pass the cake.

Corn Syrup was a staple.
Breakfast which was the main meal of the day, and if not eggs, with a runny yolk (I still love them that way) it could and often was fried chicken. My maternal grandfather always finished up his meal by pouring a bunch of Bob white corn syrup on his plate and then carefully mashing in his butter for a good three minutes before crumbling in his his biscuit and eating it.

I was a bit scared of my grandfather - a gentle soul - but he had a booming voice, all of his family was blessed with booming voices. However; one day I managed to tell him that I thought that just looked terrible.

He surprised me, by putting me on his lap and feeding it to me. It was pretty good.

Golden syrup I believe was also a brand name for a thinner syrup - and it was on the breakfast table too, and all of my uncles preferred that over the Bob white with their biscuits.

Store bought Molasses was the third staple on the breakfast table. But mostly it was put in fried apples -- put the apples in some oil on the stove and put the molasses in that and fry it up. Molasses goes with all things apples or pumpkin -- apple or pumpkin preserves, and it takes molasses to make pumpkin pie.

Real sorghum molasses or black strap was preferred cause it had a stronger taste to it.
My grandparents use to make it themselves, but stopped shortly before I was born, when they had moved off the creek, to a new farm closer to town.

They use to talk about it a lot though cause making molasses was their favorite time of year - that and hog killing time.

When the sorghum matured, a man came around to the community in the fall with a sorghum press machine and a mule or two, to press everyone's sorghum crop -that was then boiled down.

If a family was really poor, the woman did not use the white sugar for her canning of fruit, but the sorghum molasses instead which the main complaint was -it made every kind of fruit or berry taste the same.

Brown "Bob White" corn syrup was use to move the bowels of a colicky baby, and it did work.

My favorite snack at my maternal grandmother's was her canned beet pickles and crackers. Then I grew up and found out the recipe was 1 cup of sugar for every cup of vinegar. to pour over the beets and then can them. After that I got over liking them so good

Tons of sugar and white flour. It has been really hard to get in front of my family and stop it. I have stopped white sugar and have not bought any in years and years. But I still -- use molasses some in my cooking. Oh, dear! Something I should know?

Dan Olmsted

benedetta, thanks for the glimpses of not so long ago. the sugar and flour observation is interesting and chocolate gravy is new to me. let me ask, how about molasses and golden syrup, were those used and for what? thanks -- dan


Very intriguing - can't wait to see where you are going with this. I read a book once in which the author said that IgA antibodies in saliva kill polio.

Meanwhile, the "experts" have finally decided the risk of the oral polio vaccine is too high to justify continuing to use it in developing countries. (Thank goodness for the Gates Foundation's connection to 49,000 cases of paralysis or else no one would have moved in this direction - sarcasm intended, though the article makes no mention of that particular debacle). Or at least, in step with what appears to be standard public health policy - they recognized it a while ago and are just now publicly mentioning it, now that they are changing their approach, so that they can look like smart little heros. They actually tout their knowledge of viral shedding of polio virus in feces as a positive part of their original plan and aids in interrupting outbreaks, inadvertently coming very close to describing the process of natural attenuation in disease outbreak scenarios and coming quite close to disclosing the fact that one doesn't need to vaccinate 100% of any population in order to interrupt transmission (didn't we learn that only very small percentages of populations were vaccinated in Africa for smallpox and that it was considered a successful campaign - 15% coverage of 10% of the population, though its been ages since I read up on it). Oops! They better be careful, wouldn't want mainstream media to get interested - more sarcasm.


Oh, and living up on a creek some where in poverty - they all still could afford flour and sugar.
There was not a day that went by the my parental grandmother did not make chocolate gravy or a fruit cobbler, along with as many green beans they could can


A gyre in oceanography is any large system of rotating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements.

There is no gyre inland though, and many families living here in Kentucky also had polio.

Mother said they all were a nasty bunch, having to carry water in, and most times the door by the kitchen was a filthy place as they threw out all the waste water there.

They too barely had restrooms. All the older folks still had out houses, even the church. Geesh our church kept an outhouse right on up to thru the middle of the 80s. Can you believe that.

One Easter Sunday, I was visiting my old church with my little girl, who was about 3 or 4 years old. During the boring sermon she decided she needed to go to the bathroom -- LOL! You should have seen her eyes bug out when I picked her up and placed her on the wood bench over top of a big, deep, black hole. She was not bored then, and got an education.

Dad got together with the deacons soon afterward to fix up a modern indoor toilet system. In the middle of the 1980s.

So, did this gut virus mutate in a filthy place finally find a niche to grow and spread ?

Still even back in the 1950s all the parents were scared to death of polio, and they were connecting it to going swimming.

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