Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Æther Salon - Coffee! (Unedited Transcript)


[14:02:13]  Zantabraxus : Greetings, Engacia, Ziggy
[14:02:33]  engacia: hello miss zantabraxus
[14:02:53]  Cherie Harcassle: yes roller skating can be tricky, especially if one is experimenting with the boot rockets
[14:02:59]  ZiggyFritz: Helloha, and thank you, Miss Zantabraxus.
[14:03:42]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Welcome to the new arrivals, we are giving it a few minutes for some stragglers to make it, then I will start. It will be a quieter salon tonight.
[14:06:49]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach : Shall we begin, Frau Gräfin?
[14:07:16]  Wulfriðe Blitzen   nods
[14:08:20]  Magda Kamenev moves closer, just in case there are samples.
[14:08:40]  Zantabraxus  nudges Magda to the coffee
[14:08:42]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach  points at the coffee engine in the back
[14:08:45]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Welcome to the brave few tonight who have come to listen to this talk. There is so much to tell regarding the history of coffee that I don't have time to squeeze it all in, so I shall try and get as much said as possible in the allotted time. Feel free to ask questions along the way. All the following information can be found in various sources, books and articles online if you wish to explore the history of coffee further.
[14:09:17]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : The Arab world is never far from the news today, and people quickly forget it was once renown as a culture of scientists, free thinkers and inventions galore. This includes the three course meal with soup followed by fish or meat, then fruit and nuts. The habit was brought across to Moorish Spain in the 9th Century from Iraq. "Alcohol" derives from the Arabic "al kuhul"... many Arab countries, like Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Morocco, make wines and beers, even though Islam does not permit the drinking of alcohol. And lastly, coffee. Treasured by Muslim mystics for centuries, it was even briefly banned by Muslim nations. As we shall see, it has always courted intrigue and scandal throughout its recorded history
[14:09:59]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : For centuries its origins have been debated over by scholars till recent DNA research by Kew Gardens in London found  the oldest originated in the Ethiopian highlands. More worryingly, they also discovered that the plant has an incredibly narrow gene pool. Although there are 124 known species of coffee, most of the coffee that's grown comes from just two - Arabica and Robusta. This has made it incredibly vulnerable to climate change and fungal or insect attack, with the Arabica strain presently under threat of extinction similar to the sweeter Gros Michel banana, which was almost totally wiped before plantations replaced it with the more robust, but not as sweet Cavendish strain in the 1950's.
[14:10:55]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Personally, I will always prefer the tastier Arabica over the Robusta, and if you teach your tastebuds to refine themselves to flavours, you too will soon find yourself insisting on the same
[14:11:17]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : There is a third strain, little known, I shall mention that at the end
[14:11:27]  Magda Kamenev  unpacks a camp stove, a coffee mill, a small sack of beans, and a Turkish coffee pot.
[14:11:35]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : The earliest cultivation of coffee was in Yemen and Yemenis gave it the Arabic name qahwa, from which our words coffee and cafe both derive. 'Qahwa' originally meant wine, and Sufi mystics in Yemen used coffee as an aid to concentration and even spiritual intoxication when they chanted the name of Allah. By 1414, it was known in Mecca and in the early 1500s was spreading to Egypt from the Yemeni port of Mocha. It was still associated with Sufis, and a cluster of coffee houses grew up in Cairo around the religious university of the Azhar. They also opened in Syria, especially in the cosmopolitan city of Aleppo, and then in Istanbul, the capital of the vast Ottoman Turkish Empire, in 1554
[14:12:02]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : In Mecca, Cairo and Istanbul attempts were made to ban it by religious authorities. Learned shaykhs discussed whether the effects of coffee were similar to those of alcohol, and some remarked that passing round the coffee pot had something in common with the circulation of a pitcher of wine, a drink forbidden in Islam. Coffee houses were a new institution in which men met together to talk, listen to poets and play games like chess and backgammon. They became a focus for intellectual life and could be seen as an implicit rival to the mosque as a meeting place.
[14:12:27]  engacia unscrews her bottle of 'camp' coffee
[14:12:34]  Wulfriðe Blitzen   grins
[14:12:39]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Some scholars opined that the coffee house was "even worse than the wine room", and the authorities noted how these places could easily become dens of sedition. However, all attempts at banning coffee failed, even though the death penalty was used during the reign of Murad IV (1623-40). The religious scholars eventually came to a sensible consensus that coffee was, in principle, permissible. Marco Polo mentions it in his travels, and though it was a popular drink in the Arab nations where European traders often travelled to and even partook in the drink to discuss business, it was oddly one of the few things never brought back much into the west and only found in some high end Apothecary suppliers in large port cities. All this was about to change.
[14:13:23]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Coffee spread to Europe by two routes - from the Ottoman Empire, and by sea from the original coffee port of Mocha. Coffee also arrived in Europe through trade across the Mediterranean and was carried by the Turkish armies as they marched up the Danube. As in the Middle East, the coffee house became a place for men to talk, read, share their opinions on the issues of the day and play games as its popularity slowly spread further and further west.
[14:13:46]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : By the early 17thc Coffee began to be mentioned by English Captains returning from the east as a recommended medicinal drink. At first, coffee had been viewed with suspicion in Europe as a Muslim drink, but around 1600 Pope Clement VIII is reported to have so enjoyed a cup that he said it would be wrong to permit Muslims to monopolise it, and so he declared he would Baptise it. By 1630 it had reached France, and together with tea was drunk more for novelty value. All this changed in 1650.
[14:14:26]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach : How does one baptise coffee?
[14:14:38]  Magda Kamenev French press?
[14:14:49]  engacia: pour holy water over the beans
[14:14:49]  Cherie Harcassle: dunking it in water
[14:14:56]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : I assume the same way a Jewish person or a Muslim person makes something Kosher or Halal, by saying a prayer over it.
[14:15:17]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach : I like Fraulein Engacia's idea.
[14:15:22]  Wulfriðe Blitzen laughs
[14:15:32]  Jedburgh Dagger : or dunk a sinner in it
[14:15:32]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Certainly would like to have been a fly on the wall that day
[14:15:39]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : England was a Protectorate after a long Civil War and  run on Puritan lines. Alcohol was frowned upon. Partying was banned, fun was sinful, plays had been stopped. Even Christmas was outlawed.  London’s coffee craze began in 1652 when Pasqua Rosée, the Greek servant of a coffee-loving British Levant merchant, opened London’s first coffeehouse (or rather, coffee shack) against the stone wall of St Michael’s churchyard in a labyrinth of alleys off Cornhill. Coffee was a smash hit; within a couple of years, Pasqua was selling over 600 dishes of coffee a day to the horror of the local tavern keepers. For anyone who’s ever tried seventeenth-century style coffee, this can come as something of a shock — unless, that is, you like your brew “black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love”, as an old Turkish proverb recommends, and shot through with grit.
[14:16:12]  Magda Kamenev  grins. "I love that phrase."
[14:16:16]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  smiles
[14:16:27]  Jedburgh Dagger : and how I take mine
[14:16:48]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : I prefer mine strong enough to dissolve spoons
[14:16:58]  ZiggyFritz laughs.
[14:17:00]  Zantabraxus : (and tooth enamel)
[14:17:13]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Saying that to a Barista is always good fun.
[14:17:20]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : It’s not just that our tastebuds have grown more discerning accustomed as we are to silky-smooth Flat Whites; contemporaries found it disgusting too. One early sampler likened it to a “syrup of soot and the essence of old shoes” while others were reminded of oil, ink, soot, mud, damp and shit. Nonetheless, people loved how the “bitter Mohammedan gruel”, as The London Spy described it in 1701, kindled conversations, fired debates, sparked ideas and, as Pasqua himself pointed out in his handbill The Virtue of the Coffee Drink (1652), made one “fit for business” — his stall was a stone’s throw from that great entrepôt of international commerce, the Royal Exchange.
[14:17:29]  Anna Mynx : I actually don't like coffee,although I love the smell of it.
[14:18:04]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Here's a copy of the world's oldest coffee advertisement
[14:18:06]  Lady Sumoku: Sacrelidge!
[14:18:25]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : See how it cures all ills! It helps you think!  :p
[14:18:35]  ZiggyFritz: Sacrebrew!
[14:18:43]  Cherie Harcassle: giggles
[14:18:48]  Lady Sumoku: It helps me think "why is everything moving so much?"
[14:19:08]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Remember — until the mid-seventeenth century, most people in England were either slightly — or very — drunk all of the time. Drink London’s fetid river water at your own peril; most people wisely favoured watered-down ale or beer (“small beer”). The arrival of coffee, then, triggered a dawn of sobriety that laid the foundations for truly spectacular economic growth in the decades that followed as people thought clearly for the first time. The stock exchange, insurance industry, and auctioneering: all burst into life in 17th-century coffeehouses — in Jonathan’s, Lloyd’s, and Garraway’s — spawning the credit, security, and markets that facilitated the dramatic expansion of Britain’s network of global trade in Asia, Africa and America.
[14:19:28]  engacia grins wickedly
[14:19:36]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach  snickers quietly
[14:19:41]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : No respectable women would have been seen dead in a coffeehouse. It wasn’t long before wives became frustrated at the amount of time their husbands were idling away “deposing princes, settling the bounds of kingdoms, and balancing the power of Europe with great justice and impartiality”, as Richard Steele put it in the Tatler, all from the comfort of a fireside bench. In 1674, years of simmering resentment erupted into the volcano of fury that was the Women’s Petition Against Coffee. The fair sex lambasted the “Excessive use of that Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish Liquor called COFFEE” which, as they saw it, had reduced their virile industrious men into effeminate, babbling, French layabouts. Retaliation was swift and acerbic in the form of the vulgar Men’s Answer to the Women’s Petition Against Coffee, which claimed it was “base adulterate wine” and “muddy ale” that made men impotent. Coffee, in fact, was the Viagra of the day, making “the erection more vigorous, the ejaculation more full, add[ing] a spiritual ascendency to the sperm”.
[14:19:51]  Jimmy Branagh sneaks in silently, unnoticed
[14:20:02]  ZiggyFritz: No he doesn't...
[14:20:26]  engacia laughs
[14:20:34]  Erehwon Texeira  blinks slowly
[14:20:47]  Zantabraxus : Jimmy, Erehwon *smiles*
[14:20:48]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : In London you can actually buy coffee mugs with a copy of the Woman's Petition printed on it...
[14:20:50]  Cherie Harcassle: hehe an ascendency!
[14:21:02]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : By the dawn of the eighteenth century, contemporaries were counting between 1,000 and 8,000 coffeehouses in the capital even if a street survey conducted in 1734 (which excluded unlicensed premises) counted only 551. Even so, Europe had never seen anything like it. Protestant Amsterdam, a rival hub of international trade, could only muster 32 coffeehouses by 1700 and the cluster of coffeehouses in St Mark’s Square in Venice were forbidden from seating more than five customers (presumably to stifle the coalescence of public opinion) whereas North’s, in Cheapside, could happily seat 90 people.
[14:21:35]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : The walls of Don Saltero’s Chelsea coffeehouse were festooned with taxidermy monsters including crocodiles, turtles and rattlesnakes, which local gentlemen scientists like Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Hans Sloane liked to discuss over coffee; at White’s on St James’s Street, famously depicted by Hogarth, rakes would gamble away entire estates and place bets on how long customers had to live, a practice that would eventually grow into the life insurance industry; at Lunt’s in Clerkenwell Green, patrons could sip coffee, have a haircut and enjoy a fiery lecture on the abolition of slavery given by its barber-proprietor John Gale Jones; at John Hogarth’s Latin Coffeehouse, also in Clerkenwell, patrons were encouraged to converse in the Latin tongue at all times (it didn’t last long); at Moll King’s brothel-coffeehouse, depicted by Hogarth, libertines could sober up and peruse a directory of harlots, before being led to the requisite brothel nearby. There was even a floating coffeehouse, the Folly of the Thames, moored outside Somerset House where fops and rakes danced the night away on her rain-spattered deck.
[14:22:10]  Jedburgh Dagger : Wilkes drank coffee
[14:22:13]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Despite this colourful diversity, early coffeehouses all followed the same blueprint, maximising the interaction between customers and forging a creative, convivial environment. They emerged as smoky candlelit forums for commercial transactions, spirited debate, and the exchange of information, ideas, and lies.
[14:22:35]  engacia: :)
[14:22:51]  Erehwon Texeira : summons a cup of coffee and listens.
[14:22:52]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Here's an early coffee cup - you may recognise it more as a rice bowl
[14:23:14]  ZiggyFritz: Sounds like my kind of place.
[14:23:42]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Customers sat around long communal tables strewn with every type of media imaginable listening in to each other's conversations, interjecting whenever they pleased, and reflecting upon the newspapers. Talking to strangers, an alien concept in most coffee shops today, was actively encouraged. Dudley Ryder, a young law student from Hackney and shameless social climber, kept a diary in 1715-16, in which he routinely recalled marching into a coffeehouse, sitting down next to a stranger, and discussing the latest news. Private boxes and booths did begin to appear from the late 1740s but before that it was nigh-on impossible to hold a genuinely private conversation in a coffeehouse.
[14:24:20]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : As each new customer went in, they’d be assailed by cries of “What news have you?” or more formally, “Your servant, sir, what news from Tripoli?” or, if you were in the Latin Coffeehouse, “Quid Novi!” That coffeehouses functioned as post-boxes for many customers reinforced this news-gathering function. Unexpectedly wide-ranging discussions could be twined from a single conversational thread as when, at John’s coffeehouse in 1715, news about the execution of a rebel Jacobite Lord (as recorded by Dudley Ryder) transmogrified into a discourse on “the ease of death by beheading” with one participant telling of an experiment he’d conducted slicing a viper in two and watching in amazement as both ends slithered off in different directions. Was this, as some of the company conjectured, proof of the existence of two consciousnesses?
[14:24:31]  Magda Kamenev is still processing 'a spiritual ascendency to the sperm" ...
[14:24:39]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : laughs
[14:25:08]  engacia: wots so funny about the truth?
[14:25:36]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : The person who wrote it had a sense of humour. Its quite a good read
[14:26:03]  engacia: o
[14:26:35]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : His last comment was 'We are driven to the coffee house to escape the insufferable din of your wagging tongues!'
[14:26:53]  Lady Sumoku gasps
[14:26:56]  Jedburgh Dagger : Boswell's London Diary is another good one
[14:27:09]  Magda Kamenev : She didn't mean you, Lady.
[14:27:15]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Pfft!
[14:27:33]  Erehwon Texeira : So, London's coffee houses were the Reddit and Hacker News of the day? Tedious boy's clubs?
[14:27:41]  Lady Sumoku: I'm not so sure. :P
[14:27:46]  Erehwon Texeira  grins and sips her coffeee.
[14:27:49]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : In the 17thc there was a habit to pay for things in kind with trading tokens, a hang up from the English Civil War.
[14:28:04]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : An IOU if you will
[14:28:37]  Magda Kamenev adds a touch more sugar to her coffee pot and lights the camp stove.
[14:28:38]  Lady Sumoku: I don't think many on Reddit or the like would stand for actual physical coexistence in the same room.
[14:28:39]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Some 19thc American tokens use 17thc terms  such as 'good for one drink
[14:29:01]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Coffee houses spawned newspapers, some which still exist today.  A man would enter the building, pay a penny to a 'Comptroller' who would hand him a bowl, which consisted mostly of Chinese ricebowls in the early days because being so similar in shape to tea cups from China (and not being rice eaters) it was deemed to be for coffee. This shape is still echoes in the modern coffee cup today. The cup was held in a certain way to prevent burn fingers, a saucer was provided so you didn't spill a drop and could slurp the dregs noisily while in conversation. A jar labelled 'TIPS' (To Insure Prompt Service', although some sources dispute this is what it meant) was left at the counter, and a little extra would get you a clay pipe and some tobacco. A serving boy would then come over to fill your cup from an army of coffeepots boiling by the fire. Each house specialised in their own added flavours, and experiments began with filters (its recorded that old socks were used for this purpose, even fish skin...yuk).
[14:29:55]  ZiggyFritz: Yikes!
[14:30:12]  Erehwon Texeira : They could had come to Mondrago and asked us how to make coffee.
[14:30:18]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Although this father and daughter are drinking tea, they are holding the cups the same way as for coffee and for hot chocolate
[14:31:26]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : As coffee houses encouraged debate on the matters of the day (lets call them a 17thc Facebook) it was common for fights to break out.
[14:31:44]  Stereo Nacht: Interesting... Similar to Japanese'handling of tea cups...
[14:31:58]  Lady Sumoku: And not at all because of a day soaking in caffeine.
[14:32:32]  Zantabraxus  will have to sample coffee in Mondrago again
[14:32:34]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : If you look carefully, while the serving boys carry on as if nothing is happening a rowdy debate is taking place
[14:32:41]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Someone is throwing coffee at another man
[14:33:04]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : My favourite illustration has a serving girl hitting someone over the head with a ladle
[14:33:10]  Lady Sumoku: Maybe it tastes too much of sock, and not enough of fish.
[14:33:19]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Sadly I couldn't source a clear version of that one for tonight
[14:33:19]  ZiggyFritz: Lol.
[14:33:35]  Jedburgh Dagger : all depends on whose socks.
[14:33:42]  Magda Kamenev  punctures her tin of boiled milk and pour it in a cup, topping it off with the boiled coffee, grounds and all.
[14:33:44]  Cherie Harcassle: extra fish was a special order, cost extra
[14:34:11]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : I've actually made and served 17thc style coffee using a recipe from the coffee house owned by the most famous mistress of Charles II, Nell Gwyn
[14:34:16]  ZiggyFritz: The scales helped erode the tooth enamel.
[14:34:26]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : She added orange rinds and spices
[14:34:32]  engacia: mmmm
[14:34:46]  Anna Mynx : that actually sounds good.
[14:34:55]  Anna Mynx : how did it taste?
[14:35:01]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : It was boiled for a long time, so a crust formed. Akin to Egyptian Ibrik coffee pots
[14:35:02]  Zantabraxus : It does.
[14:35:06]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Actually it was very nice
[14:35:32]  Jedburgh Dagger : I have a friend on the reenacting circuit who uses Turkish pots
[14:35:33]  Anna Mynx : do you have a link to the recipe?
[14:35:58]  Erehwon Texeira : mmm, Turkish coffee with milk and caradmon
[14:36:28]  engacia: mm mm  MM

[14:36:52]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Not on me right now as I had it given to me by someone at the Royal Palaces at Greenwich a few years ago, But its easy to make. Add your favourite coffee mix, and on the top place a teaspoon of orange peel, and a pinch of nutmeg
[14:37:18]  Magda Kamenev sips her coffee, unable to suppress a shudder of delight.
[14:37:23]  Anna Mynx : thank you
[14:37:25]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : It tastes best brewed in a stove pot espresso pot, I found.
[14:37:51]  Jedburgh Dagger : Moka!
[14:37:57]  ZiggyFritz sips his cold, black coffee.
[14:37:59]  engacia: my dad introduced me to heavily milked down, sweetened coffee poured over bread behind my mom's back
[14:38:00]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Sadly the coffeehouse was not to last in England. By the late 18thc privacy, snobbery and private clubs began to dominate the social scene. Coffeehouses went into decline, some converted to tea, a new cheaper import partly encouraged by the British government who had begun to fight for the domination of the Eastern import markets. Tea, once drunk by the upper classes suddenly became cheaper than coffee, and was easy to buy around the country.
[14:38:33]  engacia: needless to say, my dad became my supplier
[14:38:54]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Twinings started life as a coffee house - he found tea sold more and founded his now famous company
[14:39:34]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : I hope you can see the details in this next image
[14:39:55]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Its called 'Tom and Jerry at a Coffee Shop'
[14:40:10]  engacia: :)
[14:40:51]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : This is the Regency period. By now the wealthy dared each other to visit coffee houses for entertainment, as a 'good fight' could always be witnessed between people in a fierce debate
[14:40:56]  Magda Kamenev: I don't see a cat or a mouse in that print.
[14:41:07]  Wulfriðe Blitzen   grins
[14:41:10]  Cherie Harcassle: They look like Darcy and Bingley
[14:41:20]  Stereo Nacht: Heh. Right! :-D
[14:41:27]  Lady Sumoku assumes Tom and Jerry are the two snooty snobs that don't look like they're there for coffee.
[14:41:45]  Erehwon Texeira : Maybe Darcy assumed a name for when he went out and about in London.
[14:42:04]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Notice something else in the image - Africans
[14:42:37]  Magda Kamenev : Ah!
[14:42:49]  Lady Sumoku thought they were just average Babbagers covered in soot.
[14:42:52]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : In London at this time Africans were free. There was a large community. Sometimes they ended up running coffeehouses by the dockside
[14:42:55]  Jimmy Branagh: Me too!
[14:43:00]  Jedburgh Dagger : it's a Cruikshank!
[14:43:06]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : One is a sweep, but the lady by the fire is African
[14:43:23]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : The other lady cooking crumpets seems to be in mid debate
[14:43:59]  engacia: is that right, eh?
[14:44:04]  Lady Sumoku: Or a ramble, she doesn't look like she's open for discussion.
[14:44:04]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : It depends on who you talk to, some people call her Indian, some just call her 'unwashed'
[14:44:06]  Erehwon Texeira : there seem to be cups and saucers flying in the background
[14:44:20]  Wulfriðe Blitzen   nods
[14:44:51]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Indeed, after 150 years, people were still fiercely debating politics and the affairs of the day. Like Facebook, others begged to disagree with your opinion
[14:45:09]  ZiggyFritz: Thank you for answering my question about what the lady was toasting, before I asked, Miss Blitzen. Lol.
[14:45:15]  Wulfriðe Blitzen laughs
[14:45:28]  Jedburgh Dagger : harder to block dissenting opinions
[14:45:46]  Lady Sumoku: I thought they were just sanitizing socks for the next batch.
[14:45:55]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach chuckles
[14:45:59]  ZiggyFritz: Oh my Goddess. Lol.
[14:46:00]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : While the coffee shop declined in England to a few small pockets, it thrived in France and Austria, where it began to become an art form
[14:46:27]  engacia: ye, those brits couldnt hold their coffee
[14:46:29]  Anna Mynx : And thus, Starbucks was born
[14:46:39]  ZiggyFritz: Ewww.
[14:46:40]  Lady Sumoku: Or whelped.
[14:46:43]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Here's a Parisian coffeehouse, around 1850's.
[14:47:00]  engacia: much more orderly
[14:47:15]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : You can see they are still debating and discussing the news of the day
[14:47:17]  ZiggyFritz: More's the pity.
[14:47:22]  engacia: the french were always more refined
[14:47:23]  Lady Sumoku: The tiny tables were probably so you couldn't stand on them for your arguments.
[14:47:33]  ZiggyFritz: Lol.
[14:47:45]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : The man at the back on the extreme left may have just run out of coffee
[14:47:54]  engacia: lol!  ye!
[14:48:03]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Or intently reading. Or both
[14:48:04]  Lady Sumoku: Or realized he left his purse at home.
[14:48:06]  Erehwon Texeira : my regular coffee house has some tiny tables so people don't camp with their laptops
[14:48:16]  Cherie Harcassle: “black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love, with a pretty design on top in the cream!"
[14:48:25]  Erehwon Texeira : or just learned that Homestuck was ending.
[14:48:26]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  laughs
[14:48:34]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : My local one puts stars on the cream
[14:48:44]  Cherie Harcassle: pretty!
[14:48:46]  ZiggyFritz: The man far mid right resembles a lion.
[14:48:50]  engacia: sugar stars?
[14:49:08]  Lady Sumoku: Cocoa powder
[14:49:15]  engacia: ah
[14:49:18]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : As it declined, it increased in countries like France and America. It is said the French Revolution began in a Parisian coffee house as the state of the royal family was much debated. In America political change and high taxes resulting in the Boston Teaparty made an entire nation look elsewhere for a new national drink. Coffee found a new niche.
[14:49:40]  Stereo Nacht: Too bad I don't drink coffee (what am I doing here? X-D ) or I might be interested in cocoa on coffee... ;-)
[14:50:10]  Lady Sumoku: You could spoon off the cocoa-foam and leave the coffee leftovers.
[14:50:11]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Cocoa has an interesting history too. Not sure if you can brave a talk about that so soon after this
[14:50:36]  Stereo Nacht: It gets pricy for just a bit of cocoa...
[14:50:41]  Erehwon Texeira : Now I want to see a version of "Non-Stop" where Hamilton's in the background, with an AeroPress, as Burr laments over his industry.
[14:50:48]  engacia: who cares from which bean we derive our beloved caffeine?
[14:51:30]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Now this is one for the coffee monsters in the room
[14:51:38]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : A disease-stricken Arabica coffee plant next to a towering Liberica
[14:51:48] : pricey?  cocoa?  at about 6$ for 500 grams of pure powder?
[14:51:56]  engacia: *snorts a line*
[14:52:05]  ZiggyFritz guffaws
[14:52:09]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Liberica is the little known 'third' strain of coffee. There is a reason we do not see it in coffee houses though.
[14:52:38]  Lady Sumoku: Obviously it is grown from grapefruits.
[14:52:50]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  chuckles
[14:52:52]  ZiggyFritz: Low yield?
[14:53:06]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Liberica was lost to science
[14:53:13]  engacia: !
[14:53:15]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : But found again by Kew Garden experts
[14:53:20]  engacia: !!
[14:53:23]  ZiggyFritz: Oh my.
[14:53:33]  Stereo Nacht: Oh? What follish mad scientist deprived future generation of a subject of experimentation?
[14:53:34]  Cherie Harcassle: on the third shelf on the far left?
[14:53:52]  engacia: prince charles again?
[14:53:56]  Magda Kamenev : Did the civet cats eat all of the Liberica beans?
[14:54:01]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : They discovered a load of 19thc paperwork by English colonials raving about the bean, so they set out to see a genus in the mountains all over Yemen and Ethiopia
[14:54:01]  Erehwon Texeira : does it make lousy coffee, like robusta?
[14:54:27]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Just as they were about to give up and list it as extinct, they found it!
[14:54:41]  Anna Mynx  cheers
[14:54:45]  ZiggyFritz: There is no lousy coffee.
[14:54:56]  Lady Sumoku: Just "challenging?"
[14:55:01]  Cherie Harcassle: I trust that they're growing it ?
[14:55:09]  ZiggyFritz: Yay for exploraters!
[14:55:37]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Well apparently they tried to get it as a replacement for the Arabica when it began to be threatened by the 'leaf rust' the modern plants are also threatened with
[14:56:04]  Wulfriðe Blitzen: When it was tasted, they wrote: "Liberica is a strong grower and a prolific cropper but it just doesn't taste very good, and for many tastes a bit like vegetable soup"
[14:56:22]  ZiggyFritz: I like vegetable soup...
[14:56:41]  engacia: it lacks the kick
[14:56:43]  Stereo Nacht: Heh. That's one I could be conviced to taste... ;-)
[14:56:51]  Cherie Harcassle: not enough fish scales, obviously
[14:56:57]  ZiggyFritz: It kicks the lack.
[14:57:08]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : We may see them experiment with cross breeding, as they are very concerned that with global warming Arabica will vanish. Its a very fussy plant - too warm, it burns, too cold, it doesn't grow beans. It prefers altitude.
[14:57:51]  Lady Sumoku: Altitude without attitude
[14:58:01]  engacia: have you seen the size of commercial greenhouses these days?
[14:58:04]  ZiggyFritz: But with altitude, comes coolness.
[14:58:12]  Magda Kamenev : Let the coffee soar ...
[14:58:19]  Cherie Harcassle: a planty paradox!
[14:58:21]  Stereo Nacht: Bah. Just migrate the plants as temperature changes... Current fields will disappear, others will become available...
[14:58:21]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : People have tried to grow it in their homes, but only succeed with Robustica. But the plant takes years to mature before you can get your first proper crop.
[14:58:46]  engacia: excellent point, miss nacht!
[14:58:50]  Stereo Nacht: Start planting now, then! ;-)
[14:59:04]  Stereo Nacht: Ahem. Sorry.
[14:59:13]  Jimmy Branagh chuckles
[14:59:32]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Last image for the evening. A lady in Ethiopia serves coffee. Notice the cups
[14:59:46]  Lady Sumoku: Thimbles!
[14:59:49]  ZiggyFritz: More like rice bowls...
[14:59:57]  Jimmy Branagh: That looks tasty
[15:00:02]  Cherie Harcassle: they get a deal on them from China
[15:00:08]  ZiggyFritz: Lol.
[15:00:11]  Stereo Nacht: The cups are nice, but I really like the coffee pot!
[15:00:13]  Magda Kamenev : I really want to do a Ethiopian coffee ceremony one day.
[15:00:19]  ZiggyFritz: All the lead you can choke on.
[15:00:25]  Jimmy Branagh: Oy loikes me coffee black.  Black as midnoight on a moonless noight.
[15:00:27]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : They consume much of their own coffee before it even leaves the country, and are proud of their national drink
[15:01:12]  ZiggyFritz: I like the pot as well, Miss Nacht.
[15:01:13]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : So does nothing taste as good as Arabica? "Coffea stenophylla, sometimes known as the highland coffee of Sierra Leone, is supposed to be incredible," says Schilling. Drunk locally, in 1896 it was described by Kew as one of the two species of coffee which could "prove a formidable rival of the Arabian coffee" - the other was Liberica. Who knows, if the British had opted for C stenophylla instead, what coffee would taste like today.
[15:01:38]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : I added the last from a quote, but I thought it was pertinent
[15:01:51]  Erehwon Texeira : mmm, Ethiopian coffees are so good
[15:02:00]  Stereo Nacht: "Incredible" can mean as much "good" as "atrocious"... ;-)
[15:02:10]  ZiggyFritz: Lol.
[15:02:14]  Lady Sumoku: "Unbelievable"
[15:02:28]  Erehwon Texeira  "Inconceivable!"
[15:02:33]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : I shall end the talk here, but if you have any questions, please ask :)
[15:02:44]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach applauds
[15:02:45]  Jimmy Branagh applauds
[15:02:47]  Anna Mynx : Thank you for this discussion
[15:02:49]  Magda Kamenev  cheers!
[15:02:52]  Anna Mynx : It was lots of fun
[15:02:54]  Anna Mynx  :)
[15:02:54]  Stereo Nacht:  `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
[15:02:57]  Magda Kamenev drinks some more coffee.
[15:02:58]  ZiggyFritz: Huzzah!
[15:03:00]  Zantabraxus applauds
[15:03:03]  Cherie Harcassle: Thank you Wulfroe!
[15:03:07]  Jimmy Branagh: I will make a fresh pot
[15:03:28]  Erehwon Texeira : I need to learn more about coffee in North Africa the Mediterranean.
[15:03:29]  ZiggyFritz: Thank you very much. That was entertaining.
[15:03:35]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Thank you :D I hope you take a new look at the coffee section when you next go shopping. And stick to Arabica, Robusta is bleh
[15:03:40]  engacia: applauds!  very, very informative, interesting and intriguing !!!  thank you, thank you, thank you!!
[15:03:43]  Magda Kamenev : Thank you so much, Mrs. Blitzen!
[15:04:24]  Erehwon Texeira : And don't forget that most of the coffee you drink in Babbage comes through Mondrago.
[15:04:39]  Jimmy Branagh: I have to run.  Thenks Miss Wulfy!  Byee awl!
[15:04:39]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach : Fraiu Gräfin, which bean is it that is processed by cats' digestive systems?
[15:05:06]  Erehwon Texeira: thank you, Wulfie!
[15:05:06]  Zantabraxus smiles
[15:05:26]  Lady Sumoku: Not exactly a cat.
[15:05:40]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : ah!  Civet cat coffee. Apparently its a secret favourite of Prince Charles, so people get him a pack of it when they want to curry favour with him
[15:05:41]  Lady Sumoku: Kopi Luwak
[15:05:49]  Magda Kamenev laughs. It is rather expensive.
[15:06:12]  Erehwon Texeira : civets are more like raccoons, aren't they?
[15:06:24]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach : With which bean variety does it start?
[15:07:39]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : I believe its Arabica for the cat. But then, how many people would confess they pick up after jungle cats with a poop collector?
[15:07:48]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach chuckles
[15:08:08]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Their stomach acids are supposed to change the chemical signature of the bean. I have never tried it, but a coffee house in London sells it for £10 a cup.
[15:09:25]  Erehwon Texeira : I wish I had time to visit more coffee houses in London
[15:09:49]  Lady Sumoku: Wikipedia says it started because the Dutch landowners wouldn't let the the natives have any coffee beans, saving it all for export.
[15:09:56]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : One of the original 17thc coffee houses still survives - its now...a Starbucks...
[15:10:07]  Erehwon Texeira : all I manged was a Costa on Edgware Road.
[15:10:13]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Hum, Costo is...eew.
[15:10:30]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach : That was bad?
[15:10:48]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : Costa is very bitter, they use a bland Robustica
[15:10:49]  Lady Sumoku: Costa is still better than Starbucks!
[15:11:16]  Magda Kamenev grins.
[15:12:25]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : And now in London you can actually visit 'hipster' coffee houses who brew coffee in Victorian Vacuum coffee makers
[15:12:43]  Anna Mynx : wow
[15:13:16]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : The Japanese brew their coffee that way, because they feel it gets the flavour of the bean much more distinctly
[15:13:28]  Magda Kamenev: I look forward to seeing how Starbucks' introduction to Milan goes.
[15:13:44]  Lady Sumoku: It could be the start of WWIII
[15:13:46]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Heh yes, that's had a few Italians over here scowl in disguste
[15:14:22]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Let me link you the machine, maybe you have seen them
[15:14:57]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-d2IVU4MDnqY/TzCwZAgDbwI/AAAAAAABo0Y/-5UHelTGxBI/s720/e5gtrwqefdsfdsfsdfsdf.jpg
[15:15:00]  Erehwon Texeira: Yes, the vacuum ones! Blue Bottle at the old Mint has them.
[15:15:32]  Magda Kamenev : There's a coffee chain here that displays them, but almost never uses them.
[15:15:38]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : I love watching those ones as they process the coffee, they make a pleasing click
[15:16:16]  Erehwon Texeira : of course, now that summer's here, I'm ready for cold brew!
[15:16:51]  Lady Sumoku: About Kopi Luwak: Tim Carman, food writer for the Washington Post reviewed kopi luwak available to US consumers and concluded "It tasted just like...Folgers. Stale. Lifeless. Petrified dinosaur droppings steeped in bathtub water. I couldn't finish it."
[15:17:06]  Magda Kamenev: Oh ... the Victorian vacuums remind me of Japanese siphon brewing.
[15:17:32]  Lady Sumoku: Same thing.
[15:17:51]  Magda Kamenev : Only more glass, less copper?
[15:17:53]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Their pots are beginning to catch on in the UK
[15:18:08]  Lady Sumoku: Well same "idea."  Just different setup.
[15:18:30]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : Recently they dared to say coffee now is the most popular drink in the UK. Its so bad that the large tea companies like Twinnings are looking at new ways to sell tea
[15:19:16]  Wulfriðe Blitzen  : So there's now a flood of trendy teas of obscure and odd flavours
[15:19:17]  Baron Klaus Wulfenbach : Tragic.
[15:19:56]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : I have a box of Jasmin and coconut tea, and Jasmin, lavender and chamomile tea for instance.
[15:20:12]  Zantabraxus : Such an awful thing to be inundated with
[15:20:14]  Zantabraxus  grins
[15:20:46]  Wulfriðe Blitzen : I still prefer the original Jasmin tea, with the opening flowers. You place the tea, and a tightly coiled dried pod into a cup, and pour on boiling water. The flower opens slowly.
[15:22:33]  Zantabraxus : Ah, somewhere about I have flowering teas- brewed in a glass teapot to enjoy watching them open as they steep.
[15:22:47]  Wulfriðe Blitzen: They are lovely
[15:22:49]  Erehwon Texeira : yes
[15:23:03]  Erehwon Texeira : and green tea with jasmine is wonderful iced
[15:23:05]  Magda Kamenev : Jasmine is perfectly fine on its own.

Æther Salon - Asylums! (Edited Transcript)

Most of you know me as Beryl Strifeclaw.  I keep the asylum here in New Babbage afloat when I'm not off on some insane quest or other unexpected madness.

Let me begin this by saying how this journey began for me and the reason that I began taking an interest in asylums and mental hospitals, long before I joined SL. It had nothing to do with a fascination with the past.  I met someone who actually worked in a hospital treating those in need.  I would soon learn something from them that you aren't going to see in a history book or a newspaper.

Everyone probably has or had a friend, or at least seen depicted on TV, where someone cannot stand how their profession is depicted on screen.  Real lawyers who hate how slimey they are represented, Doctors who despise being compared to their television actors (Patch Adams), Cheerleaders as the brainless bullies, and soldiers complain the truth is never accurately depicted. My friend had similar complaints about mental institutions, except theirs was that in all forms of media the asylum or hospital was never there to actually help anyone.  It was always a backdrop for some twisted location where no one listened, people experimented uncarringly upon patients, or delighted in torturing their victims.

To them every asylum or mental hospital represented in stories was always the backdrop of a 'torture porn' where those who worked there had no redeeming qualities at all.  The most recent examples of these I've spoken to them about was American Horror Story: Asylum and the psychiatrist in American Horror Story: Murder House. She despised both of these depictions as it only further serves the negative perception in the public mind toward mental health facilities.  The worst part for her was when the psychiatrist in Murder House called therapy a sick joke and no one was ever helped by it. She found that offensive to everything she represented. Often when people speak of mental hospitals and asylums this picture of torment and torture is brought to mind first.  Sadly it is just another thing, like the social stigma and mockery surrounding medication or needing therapy, that adds to the anxiety that make many people forgo the help that they could get.There is no getting around that terrible things happened in these places, and the manner of their corruptions might still surprise you.

However, if you take nothing else out of this, I hope it will be to realize that there are still people working in these facilities, which have much better practices today than even twenty years ago.  For every uncaring individual wanting their pay-check, or corrupt practitioners, there are people who want to help those in need and nothing I say today should stop you from seeking them out.
With that said lets go back to the earliest asylums...

In 872, Ahmad ibn Tulun built a hospital in Cairo that provided care to the insane, which included music therapy.  Bimaristans were Islamic institutions that were later described by European travellers who wrote about their wonder at the care and kindness shown to 'lunatics'. Despite this medical historians would say, "They were a drop in the ocean for the vast population that they had to serve, and their true function lay in highlighting ideals of compassion and bringing together the activities of the medical profession."  (Roy Porter 1997 The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity)

In Europe during the medieval era, the 'mad' were housed in a variety of settings. Monasteries, towers (fools' towers), hospitals and more. The ancient Parisian hospital Hôtel-Dieu also had a small number of cells set aside for lunatics, whilst the town of Elbing boasted a madhouse, the Tollhaus, attached to the Teutonic Knights' hospital. Dave Sheppard's Development of Mental Health Law and Practice began in 1285 with a case that linked "the instigation of the devil" with being "frantic and mad". The level of provision for the care and control of the insane remained extremely limited at the turn of the 18th century. Madness was seen as a domestic problem, with families and parish authorities central to regimens of care. Parish authorities would often provide financial support, the provision of parish nurses and, where family care was not possible, lunatics might be 'boarded out' to other members of the local community or committed to private madhouses or workhouses.

In the late 17th century, this model began to change, and privately run asylums for the insane began to proliferate and expand in size. Already in 1632 it was recorded that Bethlem Royal Hospital, London had "below stairs a parlor, a kitchen, two larders, a long entry throughout the house, and 21 rooms wherein the poor distracted people lie, and above the stairs eight rooms more for servants and the poor to lie in".  (Allderidge, Patricia 1979 Management and Mismanagement at Bedlam). Inmates who were deemed dangerous or disturbing were chained, but Bethlem was an otherwise free roaming building. Its inhabitants could wander around its confines and possibly throughout the general neighborhood in which the hospital was situated.  In 1676, Bethlem expanded into newly built premises at Moorfields with a capacity for 100 inmates. Practices such as leeching the patients and restraints such as the 'Tranquilizer chair' were used during this era.

This, is the tranquillizer chair. The idea was that they couldn't see, hear or otherwise get any stimulation. The bucket was for what you think it was for. The mad were more likely to go more insane in these conditions. But that was because they weren't interested in treating the patients. Privately run asylums quickly got a reputation for caring more about profits than care for their patients.  The August 19, 1858 edition of The Times printed an editorial about three cases of wrongful confinement. The editor used those accounts, which were filled with detailed descriptions of greed and corruption leading to these confinements revealed the subpar regulations in place. People were bribing doctors to wrongfully commit relatives in order to receive their inheritances early among other things.

According to the editor any man or woman could, without much difficulty, be incarcerated in a Private Lunatic Asylum when fully within the realm of reason.  Private asylums like these would have been employed by the upper class, as they were expensive, but in the case of inheritance it was sometimes worth the cost. The corruption went further.  Sometimes Asylum directors were bribed to ensure better care was given to one specific patient. Someone who wanted to lock up their sister or mother but ensure nothing bad happened to them.  The fear of abuse made the Doctors even more influential because even judges and politicians had to use their services for members of their family.

By failing to place a relative who was thought to be insane or problematic to the status quo into an asylum, families were opening up the possibilities of “immediate danger, disgraceful scenes, and exposures” to the public and ruining their family image. (Monroe, Henry Articles on Reform in Private Asylums. Deviance, Disorder, and the Self.) In this era where your image was everything, incarcerating anyone who shamed your family on the surface was important to your own welfare. There were asylums for 'hysterical women' and 'drunkards' and women who were guilty of 'infidelity'.  Here are just a few things that could get one involuntarily committed:  Insanity caused by anxiety, Epilepsy,  Insanity caused by childbirth, Insanity caused by overwork, depression, inebriation, and infidelity (known as 'Moral Insanity')

Even their opinions were enough to get women incarcerated.  The men who were in charge of these women, either a husband, father, or brother, could send women to mental institutions stating that they believed that these women were mentally ill because of their strong opinions.  Between the years of 1850-1900, women were placed in mental institutions for behaving in ways the male society did not agree with. "These men had the last say when it came to the mental health of these women, so if they believed that these women were mentally ill, or if they simply wanted to silence the voices and opinions of these women, they could easily send them to mental institutions. This was an easy way to render them vulnerable and submissive."  (Packard, E.P. (1873). Modern persecution, or, Insane asylums unveiled as demonstrated by the report of the Investigating Committee of the Legislature of Illinois.)

However, not everyone was corrupt.  And even the corrupt ones did not stand in the way as things were changing for the better as the world was getting ready for Sigmund Freud's theories.  Even decades before his studies into psychotherapy things were becoming more humane during the Enlightenment and 'Optimistic' asylum periods. Attitudes towards the mentally ill began to change. It came to be viewed as a disorder that required compassionate treatment that would aid in the rehabilitation of the victim. When the ruling monarch of the United Kingdom George III, who suffered from a mental disorder, experienced a remission in 1789, mental illness came to be seen as something which could be treated and cured.

Therapeutic Optimism in asylums ran from about 1830 to around 1860 and were at its height in the 1840s. Asylums built under the 1808 and 1828 County Asylums Act tended to be left to the management of doctors. As the theories and techniques of managing lunatics in asylums developed, so did the belief that this asylum treatment itself was the correct, scientific way to cure 'lunacy'. Signs of the therapeutic change can be seen in the changing legislation. The 1828 Madhouses Act, unlike the 1774 Act, was concerned about conditions in asylums. These included the 'moral conditions'. Official visitors were required to inquire about the performance of divine service and its effects. In 1832, this inquiry was extended to include "what description of employment, amusement or recreation (if any) is provided". This was not much, but it was a start.

In May 1839 John Connolly visited Lincoln Asylum where Robert Gardiner Hill had abolished mechanical restraint of patients in a small asylum. On appointment to Hanwell, Connolly proceeded to abolish it in a large asylum. Several English asylums were practising non-restraint by 1844. Doctors were already recognizing that chains and restraints were worsening the patients conditions instead of helping them recover.  To paraphrase the friend I mentioned at the beginning, 'because real life isn't a horror story where doctors are soulless monsters, they did what scientists are supposed to do and changed their practices to fit the science.'

Iron chains, mercury pills, and Tranquillizer chairs were being abandoned for more humane treatments and eventually most were discontinued completely in the 1850's as a failed experiment along with bleeding the patients. Outdated treatments, there were many: Instead they began to utilize actions and the freedom to move around their tiny rooms.  When left with nothing to do but live in the tiny space patients often went mad even when they were sane before but activities were being introduced.  Painting, reading, and game activities. So while you might have found devices like the tranquilizer chair in the old asylum in Babbage, the Dunsany, it was considered archaic to Professor Rance or Solsen 'today'.  However, we would be starting to use Steam boxes, hydrotherapy, lobotomies, and radium therapy instead.

The steam box. Basically using water and sweat to calm people. The science showed them it might work and for some it did, especially in inebriates asylums.  But...In our era, 188X, focus had shifted from incarceration and chains to treatments.  Some of these treatments were misguided or fundamentally flawed.

Treatments would continue to improve after Freud as people tried different techniques in their quest to help.  However conditions were still far from perfect and corrupt practices still had rational, innocent people taken away to private asylums. Journalists would soon begin exposing this world in more depth.  Unsurprisingly there were very few who would check themselves in during the era of the Tranquillizer chair.  Now exposes would become more frequent as more journalists began to feel safer committing themselves to get their stories, and the rampant abuse, terrible conditions, and corruption would be exposed.

The Victorian era, our era, actually set the stage for modern mental hospitals with the advances we made. Reforms would continue and eventually bedlams would abandon some of their morals due to overcrowding and more unstable patients.  Asylums would eventually fall out of favor and be replaced with mental hospitals

To cover everything that covers asylums would take far more than an hour could possibly contain, so here are a few resources you can use:

http://studymore.org.uk/mhhtim.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_treatment
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2141741/Sent-asylum-The-Victorian-women-locked-suffering-stress-post-natal-depression-anxiety.html

But really it takes only a few seconds of research these days to find the abuse.  It's much harder to find the humanity hidden in there.

I will finish off by saying this. There is help, and you should not let anything I say or reveal during this salon stop anyone from seeking assistance should they need it.  Even if some psychiatrists got their license from a cracker jackbox, and others mock those who need help or medication, do not let that stop you from seeking needed assistance. Unless someone is a mental health specialist themselves, they have no right to comment upon your mental health in any way.

Fin~




Æther Salon - Asylums! (Unedited Transcript)

[14:08] Luncheon Plate Mk 2: Have some petit fours.
[14:08] Solace Fairlady: The baron is cost cutting again, i am sure they were petit fives last time
[14:09] Darlingmonster Ember whispers: :D
[14:09] Tepic Harlequin: Grand Eights is better.....
[14:09] Stereo Nacht: Good day Ms. Andrea!
[14:09] Beryl Strifeclaw: Well, I'll give it another few minutes due to the unusual things going on with getting word out
[14:09] Russell A. FirecrestRussell A. Firecrest admires the wide array of interesting looking people.
[14:10] Darlingmonster Ember: welcome Miss Andrea
[14:10] Solace Fairlady: welcome back m Davis
[14:10] Stereo Nacht: I think I did my best... If people want to relay to more groups, feel free!
[14:10] Solace Fairlady: Hello Andrea!
[14:10] Stereo Nacht: Good day Mr. lighthouse!
[14:11] Andrea Jones: Greetings all
[14:11] Stereo Nacht: Good day Ms. Sera!
[14:11] Now playing: Igor Kipnis - Scarlatti (D): Harpsichord Sonata In D, K 443 [7xt]
[14:11] Stereo Nacht: Good day Ms. Writer!
[14:11] Sera: Hello Miz Nacht
[14:11] Darlingmonster EmberDarlingmonster Ember gets out her notebook and quill
[14:12] Ceejay Writer: Good Day, Stereo, and all!
[14:12] Beryl Strifeclaw: Hello everyone.
[14:12] Solace Fairlady: Hello Miss Ceejay, miss Srea!
[14:12] Solace Fairlady: *Srea
[14:12] Emerson LighthouseEmerson Lighthouse waves to Stereo
[14:12] Solace Fairlady: *S e r a
[14:12] Solace Fairlady: and m lighthouse
[14:12] Stereo Nacht: You'll get it, Ms. Solace! ;-)
[14:12] Ceejay Writer: I'll stay as long as I can, but at some point RL is going to haul me off by the collar.
[14:12] Sera: Hello everyone and thanks Miz Fairlady
[14:13] Solace Fairlady: one day, Stereo:)
[14:13] Emerson LighthouseEmerson Lighthouse nods and smiles to Ms Fairlady
[14:15] Beryl Strifeclaw: Most of you know me as Beryl Strifeclaw.  I keep the asylum here in New Babbage afloat when I'm not off on some insane quest or other unexpected madness.
[14:15] Beryl Strifeclaw: Let me begin this by saying how this journey began for me and the reason that I began taking an interest in asylums and mental hospitals, long before I joined SL.
[14:16] Beryl Strifeclaw: It had nothing to do with a fascination with the past.  I met someone who actually worked in a hospital treating those in need.  I would soon learn something from them that you aren't going to see in a history book or a newspaper.
[14:16] Darlingmonster Ember: ooo
[14:16] Beryl Strifeclaw: Everyone probably has or had a friend, or at least seen depicted on TV, where someone cannot stand how their profession is depicted on screen.  Real lawyers who hate how slimey they are represented, Doctors who despise being compared to their television actors (Patch Adams), Cheerleaders as the brainless bullies, and soldiers complain the truth is never accurately depicted.
[14:17] Beryl Strifeclaw: My friend had similar complaints about mental institutions, except theirs was that in all forms of media the asylum or hospital was never there to actually help anyone.  It was always a backdrop for some twisted location where no one listened, people experimented uncarringly upon patients, or delighted in torturing their victims.
[14:17] Beryl Strifeclaw: To them every asylum or mental hospital represented in stories was always the backdrop of a 'torture porn' where those who worked there had no redeeming qualities at all.  The most recent examples of these I've spoken to them about was American Horror Story: Asylum and the psyciatrist in American Horror Story: Murder House.
[14:18] Beryl Strifeclaw: She despised both of these depictions as it only further serves the negative perception in the public mind toward mental health facilities.  The worst part for her was when the psyciatrist in Murder House called therapy a sick joke and no one was ever helped by it. She found that offensive to everything she represented.
[14:18] Darlingmonster Ember: nods
[14:18] Beryl Strifeclaw: Often when people speak of mental hospitals and asylums this picture of torment and torture is brought to mind first.  Sadly it is just another thing, like the social stigma and mockery surrounding medication or needing therapy, that adds to the anxiety that make many people forgo the help that they could get.
[14:19] Beryl Strifeclaw: There is no getting around that terrible things happened in these places, and the manner of their corruptions might still surprise you. However, if you take nothing else out of this, I hope it will be to realize that there are still people working in these facilities, which have much better practices today than even twenty years ago.  For every uncaring individual wanting their paycheck, or corrupt practicioners, there are people who want to help those in need and nothing I say today should stop you from seeking them out.
[14:19] Beryl Strifeclaw: With that said lets go back to the earliest asylums...
[14:19] Darlingmonster EmberDarlingmonster Ember applauds
[14:20] Beryl Strifeclaw: In 872, Ahmad ibn Tulun built a hospital in Cairo that provided care to the insane, which included music therapy.  Bimaristans were Islamic institutions that were later described by European travelers who wrote about their wonder at the care and kindness shown to 'lunatics'. Despite this medical historians would say, "They were a drop in the ocean for the vast population that they had to serve, and their true function lay in highlighting ideals of compassion and bringing together the activities of the medical profession."  (Roy Porter 1997 The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity)
[14:20] Rowan Entilles: +
[14:21] Beryl Strifeclaw: In Europe during the medieval era, the 'mad' were housed in a variety of settings. Monsasteries, towers (fools' towers), hospitals and more.  The ancient Parisian hospital Hôtel-Dieu also had a small number of cells set aside for lunatics, whilst the town of Elbing boasted a madhouse, the Tollhaus, attached to the Teutonic Knights' hospital. Dave Sheppard's Development of Mental Health Law and Practice began in 1285 with a case that linked "the instigation of the devil" with being "frantic and mad".
[14:22] Beryl Strifeclaw: The level of provision for the care and control of the insane remained extremely limited at the turn of the 18th century. Madness was seen as a domestic problem, with families and parish authorities central to regimens of care. Parish authorities would often provide financial support, the provision of parish nurses and, where family care was not possible, lunatics might be 'boarded out' to other members of the local community or committed to private madhouses or workhouses.
[14:22] Beryl Strifeclaw: In the late 17th century, this model began to change, and privately run asylums for the insane began to proliferate and expand in size. Already in 1632 it was recorded that Bethlem Royal Hospital, London had "below stairs a parlor, a kitchen, two larders, a long entry throughout the house, and 21 rooms wherein the poor distracted people lie, and above the stairs eight rooms more for servants and the poor to lie in".  (Allderidge, Patricia 1979 Management and Mismanagement at Bedlam)
[14:23] Beryl Strifeclaw: Inmates who were deemed dangerous or disturbing were chained, but Bethlem was an otherwise free roaming building. Its inhabitants could wander around its confines and possibly throughout the general neighborhood in which the hospital was situated.  In 1676, Bethlem expanded into newly built premises at Moorfields with a capacity for 100 inmates.
[14:24] Beryl Strifeclaw: Practices such as leeching the patients and restraints such as the 'Tranquilizer chair' were used during this era.
[14:24] Beryl Strifeclaw: This, is the tranquilizer chair
[14:25] Stereo Nacht: Ah! Sensory deprivation...
[14:25] Tepic Harlequin: blimey! that'd do it
[14:25] Stereo Nacht: (more or less)
[14:25] Beryl Strifeclaw: Completely
[14:25] Philip Sexton: Convenient
[14:25] Beryl Strifeclaw: The idea was that they couldn't see, hear or otherwise get any stimulation
[14:25] Russell A. Firecrest: I don't think I'd find that particularly calming.
[14:25] Beryl Strifeclaw: The bucket was for what you think it was or
[14:25] Beryl Strifeclaw: The mad were more likely to go more insane in these conditions
[14:25] Tepic Harlequin: convienient, anyhows.....
[14:26] Stereo Nacht: yeah... I expect...
[14:26] Beryl Strifeclaw: But that was because they weren't intrested in treating the patients
[14:26] Beryl Strifeclaw: Privately run asylums quickly got a reputation for caring more about profits than care for their patients.  The August 19, 1858 edition of The Times printed an editorial about three cases of wrongful confinement. The editor used those accounts, which were filled with detailed descriptions of greed and corruption leading to these confinements revealed the subpar regulations in place. People were bribing doctors to wrongfully commit relatives in order to recieve their inheritances early among other things.
[14:27] Philip Sexton: Hah!
[14:27] Beryl Strifeclaw: According to the editor any man or woman could, without much difficulty, be incarcerated in a Private Lunatic Asylum when fully within the realm of reason.  Private asylums like these would have been employed by the upper class, as they were expensive, but in the case of inhertiance it was sometimes worth the cost.
[14:28] Beryl Strifeclaw: The corruption went further.  Sometimes Asylum directors were bribed to ensure better care was given to one specific patient. Someone who wanted to lock up their sister or mother but ensure nothing bad happened to them.  The fear of abuse made the Doctors even more influential because even judges and politicians had to use their services for members of their family.
[14:28] Beryl Strifeclaw: By failing to place a relative who was thought to be insane or problematic to the status quo into an asylum, families were opening up the possibilities of “immediate danger, disgraceful scenes, and exposures” to the public and ruining their family image. (Monroe, Henry Articles on Reform in Private Asylums. Deviance, Disorder, and the Self.)
[14:28] Beryl Strifeclaw: In this era where your image was everything, incarcerating anyone who shamed your family on the surface was important to your own welfare.
[14:29] Beryl Strifeclaw: There were asylums for 'hysterical women' and 'drunkards' and women who were guilty of 'infidelity'.  Here are just a few things that could get one involuntarily committed: 
Insanity caused by anxiety, Epilepsy,  Insanity caused by childbirth, Insanity caused by overwork, depression, inebriation, and infidelty (known as 'Moral Insanity')
[14:30] Beryl Strifeclaw: Even their opinions were enough to get women incarcerated.  The men who were in charge of these women, either a husband, father, or brother, could send women to mental institutions stating that they believed that these women were mentally ill because of their strong opinions.  Between the years of 1850-1900, women were placed in mental institutions for behaving in ways the male society did not agree with.
[14:30] Tepic Harlequin: ladies with strong opinions? scandelous!
[14:30] Beryl Strifeclaw: "These men had the last say when it came to the mental health of these women, so if they believed that these women were mentally ill, or if they simply wanted to silence the voices and opinions of these women, they could easily send them to mental institutions. This was an easy way to render them vulnerable and submissive."  (Packard, E.P. (1873). Modern persecution, or, Insane asylums unveiled as demonstrated by the report of the Investigating Committee of the Legislature of Illinois.)
[14:31] Beryl Strifeclaw: However, not everyone was corrupt.  And even the corrupt ones did not stand in the way as things were changing for the better as the world was getting ready for Sigmund Frued's theories.  Even decades before his studies into psycotherapy things were becoming more humane during the Enlightenment and 'Optimistic' asylum periods.
[14:31] Stereo Nacht: (I would have been sent to one!)
[14:31] Beryl Strifeclaw: I will take a moment while you digest the idea of an optimistic asylum period.
[14:32] Beryl Strifeclaw: Ready now?  Yay.  Attitudes towards the mentally ill began to change. It came to be viewed as a disorder that required compassionate treatment that would aid in the rehabilitation of the victim. When the ruling monarch of the United Kingdom George III, who suffered from a mental disorder, experienced a remission in 1789, mental illness came to be seen as something which could be treated and cured.
[14:33] Beryl Strifeclaw: Therapeutic Optimism in asylums ran from about 1830 to around 1860 and were at its height in the 1840s. Asylums built under the 1808 and 1828 County Asylums Act tended to be left to the management of doctors. As the theories and techniques of managing lunatics in asylums developed, so did the belief that this asylum treatment itself was the correct, scientific way to cure 'lunacy'.
[14:33] Tepic Harlequin: funny that, the bloke in charge gets ill, an suddely yer can cure it...
[14:33] Beryl Strifeclaw: Signs of the therapeutic change can be seen in the changing legislation. The 1828 Madhouses Act, unlike the 1774 Act, was concerned about conditions in asylums. These included the 'moral conditions'. Official visitors were required to inquire about the performance of divine service and its effects. In 1832, this inquiry was extended to include "what description of employment, amusement or recreation (if any) is provided".
[14:34] Beryl Strifeclaw: This was not much, but it was a start.
[14:34] Beryl Strifeclaw: In May 1839 John Connolly visited Lincoln Asylum where Robert Gardiner Hill had abolished mechanical restraint of patients in a small asylum. On appointment to Hanwell, Connolly proceeded to abolish it in a large asylum. Several English asylums were practising non-restraint by 1844.
[14:34] Stereo Nacht: (Hence the saying: "If men could get pregnant, abortions would be free and easy to get!" :-P )
[14:34] Beryl Strifeclaw: Doctors were already recognizing that chains and restraints were worsening the patients conditions instead of helping them recover.  To paraphrase the friend I mentioned at the beginning, 'because real life isn't a horror story where doctors are soulless monsters, they did what scientists are supposed to do and changed their practices to fit the science.'
[14:35] Beryl Strifeclaw: Iron chains, mercury pills, and Tranquilizer chairs were being abandoned for more humane treatments and eventually most were discontinued completely in the 1850's as a failed experiment along with bleeding the patients.
[14:35] Philip Sexton: Mercury pills?
[14:36] Beryl Strifeclaw: Outdated treatments, there were many
[14:36] Beryl Strifeclaw: Instead they began to utilize actions and the freedom to move around their tiny rooms.  When left with nothing to do but live in the tiny space patients often went mad even when they were sane before but activites were being introduced.  Painting, reading, and game activities.
[14:36] Tepic Harlequin: well, if yer sane an yer take mercury, yer go insane... so.... if yer insane...
[14:36] Philip SextonPhilip Sexton nods
[14:36] Beryl Strifeclaw: So while you might have found devices like the tranquilizer chair in the old asylum in Babbage, the Dunsany, it was considered archaic to Professor Rance or Solsen 'today'.  However, we would be starting to use Steam boxes, hydrotherapy, lobotomies, and radium therapy instead.
[14:37] Beryl Strifeclaw: The steam box
[14:38] Rowan Entilles: excellent they can lose weight too, i suppose
[14:38] Beryl Strifeclaw: Basically using water and sweat to calm people
[14:38] Russell A. FirecrestRussell A. Firecrest chuckles
[14:38] Rowan Entilles: they should have required doctors to use their contrivances
[14:38] Wright Davis: they're not far off, a sauna can be very calming
[14:39] Beryl Strifeclaw: Yes, the science showed them it might work and for some it did
[14:39] Darlingmonster Ember: radium makes everything better
[14:39] Beryl Strifeclaw: Especially in inebriates asylums
[14:39] Beryl Strifeclaw: Buut
[14:39] Beryl Strifeclaw: In our era, 188X, focus had shifted from incarceration and chains to treatments.  Some of these treatments were misguided or fundamentally flawed.
[14:39] Wright Davis: obviously there is a but
[14:39] Beryl Strifeclaw: Treatments would continue to improve after Frued as people tried different techniques in their quest to help.  However conditions were still far from perfect and corrupt practices still had rational, innocent people taken away to private asylums.
[14:39] Beryl Strifeclaw: Journalists would soon begin exposing this world in more depth.  Unsurpiringly there were very few who would check themselves in during the era of the Tranquilizer chair.  Now exposes would become more frequent as more journalists began to feel safer committing themselves to get their stories, and the rampant abuse, terrible conditions, and corruption would be exposed.
[14:40] Beryl Strifeclaw: The Victorian era, our era, actually set the stage for modern mental hospitals with the advances we made.
[14:40] Stereo Nacht: (I'll pass on the steam chair - sometimes, even local temps are too hot for my little penguin self!)
[14:40] Beryl Strifeclaw: Reforms would continue and eventually bedlams would abandon some of their morals due to overcrowding and more unstable patients.  Asylums would eventually fall out of favor and be replaced with mental hospitals
[14:41] Andrea Jones: Well we had a queen in charge.
[14:41] Philip Sexton chuckles
[14:41] Beryl Strifeclaw: To cover everything that covers asylums would take far more than an hour could possibly contain, so here are a few resources you can use:
[14:41] Beryl Strifeclaw: http://studymore.org.uk/mhhtim.htm
[14:42] Beryl Strifeclaw: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_treatment
[14:42] Beryl Strifeclaw: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2141741/Sent-asylum-The-Victorian-women-locked-suffering-stress-post-natal-depression-anxiety.html
[14:42] Beryl Strifeclaw: But really it takes only a few seconds of research these days to find the abuse.  It's much harder to find the humaity hidden in there.
[14:43] Beryl Strifeclaw: I will finish off by saying this.
[14:43] Beryl Strifeclaw: There is help, and you should not let anything I say or reveal during this salon stop anyone from seeking assistance should they need it.  Even if some psyciatrists got their license from a cracker jackbox, and others mock those who need help or medication, do not let that stop you from seeking needed assistance.
[14:43] Beryl Strifeclaw: Unless someone is a mental health specialist themselves, they have no right to comment upon your mental health in any way.
[14:43] Beryl Strifeclaw: Fin~
[14:43] Sera: agreed
[14:43] Darlingmonster EmberDarlingmonster Ember applauds
[14:43] Stereo Nacht:  `*.¸.*´ APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´APPLAUSE `*.¸.*´
[14:43] SeraSera applauds
[14:44] Rowan Entilles: ^-^
[14:44] Solace FairladySolace Fairlady applauds
[14:44] Darlingmonster EmberDarlingmonster Ember applauds
[14:44] Rowan Entilles: wonderful!
[14:44] Philip SextonPhilip Sexton applauds
[14:44] Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, Darlingmonster Ember!
[14:44] Solace Fairlady: Thank you beryl!
[14:44] Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, Wildstar Beaumont!
[14:44] Russell A. FirecrestRussell A. Firecrest claps
[14:44] Juliette Moldylocks: Thank you, Beryl. Well done!
[14:44] Rowan Entilles: thank you so much
[14:44] Stereo Nacht: Thank you Ms. Beryl!
[14:44] Darlingmonster Ember: very nice
[14:45] Philip Sexton: Madam, you kept an orderly house *smiles*
[14:45] Beryl Strifeclaw: It's okay
[14:45] Darlingmonster Ember: Grins
[14:45] Solace Fairlady: a very informative and thoughtful presentation Beryl
[14:45] Beryl Strifeclaw: I'll take questions if you have any of course
[14:46] OldeSoul Eldemar: Raises hand
[14:46] Beryl Strifeclaw: Yes Olde?
[14:46] OldeSoul Eldemar: Beryl is there a copy of your presentation so I may read it
[14:46] Beryl Strifeclaw: Actually yes
[14:47] OldeSoul Eldemar: Thank you so much !
[14:47] Darlingmonster Ember: a question: it seems the medical profession actually redirects expertise every 10 years, is that speeding up like most science? Are they learning things faster about care for duress?
[14:47] OldeSoul Eldemar: that is fine, whenever
[14:48] Jedburgh Dagger: Medicine is really very conservative to change in many ways
[14:48] Beryl Strifeclaw: With the internet things really sped up with the sharing of information and practices
[14:48] Beryl Strifeclaw: But yes, things are still slow.
[14:48] Darlingmonster Ember: ah
[14:48] Darlingmonster Ember: thank you
[14:48] Beryl Strifeclaw: They still need to be licensed unlike the first asylums I mentioned
[14:48] Stereo Nacht: I guess the "at least, do no harm" finally means something... (Most of the time)
[14:48] Jedburgh Dagger: The bulldog clamp was developed for surgery in the early 1900s and was still being used in some places up until the late 80s
[14:49] Beryl Strifeclaw: Most of those and the private ones had no licenses and it wasn't required till the 1800's
[14:49] SeraSera shakes head in amazement
[14:50] Beryl Strifeclaw: The private asylums were the worst offenders usually
[14:50] Solace Fairlady: thank you Beryl, and to the salon:)
[14:50] Solace FairladySolace Fairlady bobs a curtsey
[14:50] Darlingmonster EmberDarlingmonster Ember curtsies
[14:50] Philip Sexton: Most interesting talk.
[14:50] Stereo Nacht: Good night Ms. Solace, Ms. Ember!
[14:50] OldeSoul Eldemar: Take care ladies
[14:51] Sera: Thank you Beryl. Well done
[14:51] Juliette Moldylocks: Good evening, all.  Thank you again, Beryl.