Punch,  40 (1861), 63.

Conviviality and Science



News-Commentary, Drollery


Meteorology, Medical Treatment, Health, Amusement, Heat, Instruments, Measurement, Societies

    Describes the people who seem to have had a 'jolly time' during the recent frost, notably those who drink more alcohol than is usual in order to warm themselves, but who therefore contravene medical advice which links greater alcohol consumption to increased risk from frostbite. Notes that the weather has prompted other jovial activities 'enjoyed under the plea of purely scientific purposes', and discusses those who 'sit up half the night with a guest or two' watching thermometers and measuring the progress of the cold. Concludes that 'science is compatible with no small amount of jollity' and explores the pleasant alcoholic connotations of phrases used in meteorology; for example, the 'haze' observed at soirées attended by savants partaking of drink.

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