Saturday, July 5, 2008


my dear minnows:

Jamaican Ginger Extract (known in the United States by the slang name Jake) was an early 20th century patent medicine that provided a convenient way to bypass Prohibition laws, since it contained between 70-80% ethyl alcohol by weight.

It was all well and good, until a pair of amateur chemists and bootleggers, Harry Gross and Max Reisman, tried to market this product. To do so, and to make it more palatable, they mixed it with tri-o-tolyl phosphate (also known as tri-ortho cresyl phosphate or TOCP), that was able to pass the Treasury Department's tests but preserved jake's drinkability.

TOCP was originally thought to be non-toxic; however, it was later determined to be a neurotoxin that causes axonal damage to the nerve cells in the nervous system of human beings, especially those located in the spinal cord. The resulting type of paralysis is now referred to as organophosphate-induced delayed neuropathy, also known as the JAKE WALK. (from wikipedia, somewhat altered.)

I challenge you to use this story as a jumping off point for a drawing, comic, etc. GO TO WORK.

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