Will breathing night air kill you?

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Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by SkepticalSemite » Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:51 pm

Wikipedia said a guy in his early 20's in the 1800s killed himself by breathing the night air while it was July in Poland.
However Wikipedia fails to explain why I haven't died of even experienced any ill effects considering I always leave my bedroom windows open all night.

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Rob Lister » Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:56 pm

anybody can say anything on wiki.
why didn't you provide a link?

don't use a fan at night. you'll get palsy.

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by SkepticalSemite » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:00 pm

Yeah but his death was mentioned in an online book too. I forgot his name but I'll try and find it.
Some sources say he died of a botched surgery for a throat infection but others say he killed himself by breathing night air in the Summer. The book contained quotes of letters written by him, which told of the man wanting to commit suicide.

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by DrMatt » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:19 pm

Oy, this schmendrik is back?
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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Pyrrho » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:22 pm

Will breathing night air kill you? Only if you don't inhale.
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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Doctor X » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:43 pm

Just step out for a breath of air,
And you'll be ready for Medicare!
Being outside is such a thrill!
If the hoods don't get you the monoxide will!

Pollution! Pollution!
Wear a gas mask and a veil!
Pollution! Pollution!
And you'll be alright if you just don't inhale!


--"Pollution," Alan Sherman

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Anaxagoras » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:46 pm

Can something on the internet be wrong? I don't believe it!
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Rob Lister » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:06 pm

It speaks to urban myths long dead.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/3402405?seq ... b_contents


Fresh Air and Sunshine
Olive Williams
The American Journal of Nursing
Vol. 1, No. 5 (Feb., 1901), pp. 339-340

Image

Whatever popularity the myth had it was mostly dead by early 1900's.

Nov 1908 Success Magazine
Image

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Anaxagoras » Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:17 am

Interesting. Didn't know about that.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_air
Prior to the late 19th century, night air was considered dangerous in most Western cultures. Based on “zymotic” theory, people believed vapors called “miasma” (plural "miasmata") rose from the soil and spread diseases. Miasmata was believed to come from rotting vegetation and foul water—especially in swamps and urban ghettos.
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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by SkepticalSemite » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:10 am

Digitalized books on the guy said the same thing, about how he was depressed and wondered around town all night in the summer 'knowingly' exposing himself to the night air then shortly after he died of what appeared to be laryngitis. The year was 1879. (checking other sources, because I know Wikipedia isn't even 80% accurate most of the time)

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Rob Lister » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:20 am

I know Wikipedia isn't even 80% accurate most of the time
so 79% accurate 51% of the time?

heh
Digitalized books on the guy said the same thing
link?

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Anaxagoras » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:21 am

SkepticalSemite wrote:Digitalized books on the guy said the same thing, about how he was depressed and wondered around town all night in the summer 'knowingly' exposing himself to the night air then shortly after he died of what appeared to be laryngitis. The year was 1879. (checking other sources, because I know Wikipedia isn't even 80% accurate most of the time)
Well, there you go. If books say the same thing, it must be true because books are always more reliable than Wikipedia (which no doubt used those same books as its source).

As Rob pointed out and I added another link to confirm, there was a widespread belief at the time that night air was dangerous based on an obsolete theory of disease. As such, it would be easy for people at the time to mistakenly attribute a disease and a resulting death to a cause that was still believed by many to be true in those days. The germ theory, which eventually supplanted miasma theory hadn't yet gained wide acceptance by 1879.

And, by the way, laryngitis is a symptom, not a disease. It can be caused by various pathogens:
Infectious

Viral laryngitis can be caused by rhinovirus, influenza virus, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, coxsackievirus, coronavirus, and RSV.
Bacterial laryngitis can be caused by group A streptococcus, streptococcus pneumoniae, C. diphtheriae, M. catarrhalis, haemophilus influenzae, bordetella pertussis, bacillus anthracis, and M. tuberculosis. Bacterial infections usually follow pre-existing viral infection.
Fungal laryngitis can be caused by Histoplasma, Blastomyces, Candida (especially in immunocompromised persons), and rarely by Cryptococcus and Coccidioides.

Laryngitis can occasionally lead to pneumonia, either viral pneumonia or bacterial pneumonia.
Most likely explanation is that he happened to catch an infectious disease around the same time, which eventually caused his death, but because people didn't know how else to explain it at the time, they attributed it to the dangers of "night air".

Satisfied? :)
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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Doctor X » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:13 am

Why not Space Aliens?

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Witness » Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:26 am

Doctor X wrote:Why not Space Aliens?

--J.D.
Too drab, no mystery in that, right? Image

And I prefer this kind of belief:
Wikipedia (79 % thruth) wrote:[Chrysippus] died during the 143rd Olympiad (208–204 BC) at the age of 73. Diogenes Laërtius gives two different accounts of his death. In the first account, Chrysippus was seized with dizziness having drunk undiluted wine at a feast, and died soon after. In the second account, he was watching a donkey eat some figs and cried out: "Now give the donkey a drink of pure wine to wash down the figs", whereupon he died in a fit of laughter.
So be no fools, always cut your wine (with whisky, as I have seen Koreans do?)…

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by sparks » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:12 pm

Well, there can be little doubt that Night Air causes autism. But only in children who've just been vaccinated by an atheist Obstetrician.
You can lead them to knowledge, but you can't make them think.

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by SkepticalSemite » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:52 pm

Anaxagoras wrote:
SkepticalSemite wrote:Digitalized books on the guy said the same thing, about how he was depressed and wondered around town all night in the summer 'knowingly' exposing himself to the night air then shortly after he died of what appeared to be laryngitis. The year was 1879. (checking other sources, because I know Wikipedia isn't even 80% accurate most of the time)
Well, there you go. If books say the same thing, it must be true because books are always more reliable than Wikipedia (which no doubt used those same books as its source).

As Rob pointed out and I added another link to confirm, there was a widespread belief at the time that night air was dangerous based on an obsolete theory of disease. As such, it would be easy for people at the time to mistakenly attribute a disease and a resulting death to a cause that was still believed by many to be true in those days. The germ theory, which eventually supplanted miasma theory hadn't yet gained wide acceptance by 1879.

And, by the way, laryngitis is a symptom, not a disease. It can be caused by various pathogens:
Infectious

Viral laryngitis can be caused by rhinovirus, influenza virus, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, coxsackievirus, coronavirus, and RSV.
Bacterial laryngitis can be caused by group A streptococcus, streptococcus pneumoniae, C. diphtheriae, M. catarrhalis, haemophilus influenzae, bordetella pertussis, bacillus anthracis, and M. tuberculosis. Bacterial infections usually follow pre-existing viral infection.
Fungal laryngitis can be caused by Histoplasma, Blastomyces, Candida (especially in immunocompromised persons), and rarely by Cryptococcus and Coccidioides.

Laryngitis can occasionally lead to pneumonia, either viral pneumonia or bacterial pneumonia.
Most likely explanation is that he happened to catch an infectious disease around the same time, which eventually caused his death, but because people didn't know how else to explain it at the time, they attributed it to the dangers of "night air".

Satisfied? :)
Yeah, just that all sources I could find on Maurycy Gottlieb's death say that exposure to night air caused disease because he was suicidal and believed that night air would cause disease etc.

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by sparks » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:09 pm

OK, OK here's what really happened: The poor bastard spontaneously combusted because of the vapors he was running through at night, naked while trying to catch autisms because he was suicidal due to an earlier incident involving his favorite prize winning goat and an ice wagon. Reliable witnesses report that longshoreman and space aliens were involved too. :shock:
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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by SkepticalSemite » Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:37 pm

Look into Maurcy Gottlieb.

The question is if night air (which was universally blamed for causing his death) caused the infection which killed him.
Sounds silly, but literally every source on this guy says this.

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Doctor X » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:23 pm

And how the fuck would they know?

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Re: Will breathing night air kill you?

Post by Rob Lister » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:05 pm

Doctor X wrote:And how the fuck would they know?

--J.D.
Skeptical Semite, there's a ton of implication in Doc's tiny question above.

Do you garner it?

P. fucking S. Always include links. You're [very much] lacking in that department.