Page 114. " Section 8 "

Section 8 is a category of discharge from the US military due to being mentally unfit for service.

It is also used to refer to someone who is behaving as though they deserve such a discharge.

Page 115. " greensickness "
Sweet leaf suffering from chlorosis
Public DomainSweet leaf suffering from chlorosis - Credit: Jim Conrad

Greensickness is another word for chlorosis, a condition affecting plants wherein their leaves don't produce enough chlorophyll, turning pale yellow. Such plants are unable to manufacture carbohydrates through photosynthesis, and will eventually die.

Chlorosis is generally caused by a lack of nutrients. This could be due to a lack of minerals in the soil, a lack of nitrogen, a problem with the soil pH, waterlogged or damaged roots, pesticides or exposure to sulphur dioxide.

Page 115. " almonds in the ears "

A condition resulting in swollen lymph glands.

Page 115. " scurvy "

A condition caused by a deficiency in vitamin C, resulting in spots on the skin, spongy gums and bleeding from the mucous membranes. A person sufering the condition feels weak and depressed.

Scurvy was common among sailors as fruits and vegetables could not be stored for long on board, and they subsisted on cured meats and dried grains. Scurvy's effect on long-distance travel had an enormous impact on the Age of Discovery in the 15th century, and on exploration and warfare right up to the 20th century. In 1753, James Lind, a surgeon in the British Navy, postulated that it could be treated with citrus fruit. But it was not until 1932 that vitamin C deficiency was officially isolated as the cause of scurvy.

Page 115. " Compton Mackenzie novels "
Compton MacKenzie
Public DomainCompton MacKenzie - Credit: Alvin Langdon

Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972) was a Scottish novelist best known for his works Whisky Galore (1947) and The Monarch of the Glen (1941). He wrote autobiographical works as well as biographies, histories, literary criticism, satires, children's stories and poetry.

His work was an influence on later writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Orwell and Henry James.

 

 

Page 118. " Cubeb? He used to smoke that stuff "

Piper cubeba
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePiper cubeba - Credit: H. Zell
Cubeb (tailed pepper) is a plant cultivated for its fruit and essential oils and mostly found in Java and Sumatra.

It was indeed used in cigarettes, to help treat asthma, chronic pharyngitis and hay fever. Edgar Rice Burroughs once humourously attributed his writing of Tarzan to cubeb cigarettes.

Today, Bombay Sapphire gin and Pertsovka vodka are flavoured with cubeb.