The Revenge of the Hot Water Bottle


Imagine a personal heating system that works indoors as well as outdoors, can be taken anywhere, requires little energy, and is independent of any infrastructure. It exists – and is hundreds of years old. The hot water bottle could save a great deal of energy and money without sacrificing thermal comfort.


Hot water bottles work both indoors and outdoors. Illustration: Marie Verdeil.



A hot water bottle is a sealable container filled with hot water, often enclosed in a textile cover, which is directly placed against a part of the body for thermal comfort. The hot water bottle is still a common household item in some places – such as the UK and Japan – but it is largely forgotten or disregarded in most of the industrialised world. If people know of it, they usually associate it with pain relief rather than thermal comfort, or they consider its use an outdated practice for the poor and the elderly.

Nevertheless, when I sent two dozen hot water bottles to friends and family as a Christmas present, the reactions were almost unanimously enthusiastic. People show themselves very much surprised that such a humble object can provide so much comfort. Because I don’t have the time nor the budget to send hot water bottles to everyone, I have written this article. It’s largely based on my personal experience – I have been using hot water bottles for many years and they are the only heat source in my apartment.

The history of the hot water bottle

Croation inventor Eduard Penkala patented the rubber hot water bottle – which he dubbed the “Termofor” – in 1903. However, it did not come out of nowhere. In fact, the history of the hot water bottle goes back thousands of years, albeit in different guises.


Rubber hot water bottle, made in Germany (1925-35). Source: Museum Rotterdam.

The first “hot water bottles” – quite literally – were other people and animals. Since time immemorial, people have warmed themselves by huddling together. For example, it was common for the whole family to sleep together in the same bed – and this included potential visitors. [1] People also took advantage of the heat from animals – “hot water bottles” with a standard fur cover.

They snuggled up against cows and pigs, which were either sharing the living space or lived in the stables below it. In the eighteenth century, wealthy women kept specially bred “hand dogs” – toy poodles – around to keep their lap and hands warm. [2] Personal heating devices also took the form of objects – stones, bricks, potatoes – that were heated in or near the fire, wrapped in cloth or paper, and kept in people’s laps, in pockets, or in the bed.

As early as the 1500s, people started to use all kinds of portable containers filled with hot coals from the fire. These were used as foot warmers, hand warmers, and bed warmers. [3] Most were made of metal, either brass or copper, and placed inside wooden or ceramic enclosures to prevent skin burns. Over time, hot coals were replaced by hot water, which is a cleaner and safer heat storage medium.

Initially, these first “real” hot water bottles were made from hard materials such as glass, metal, or stoneware. It was only with the invention of vulcanised rubber in the nineteenth century that more comfortable lightweight and flexible hot water bottles became an option. Spanish friends told me that hot water bottles used to be made from animal skins, but I could not verify this. It may well be true, because all over the world there’s a long tradition of using “water skins” for storing liquids.

Never Forget the Enablers of the Destructive Covid Panic

After nearly two years of America pursuing politically motivated policies to “eradicate” an unstoppable respiratory virus, an increasing number of liberal politicians, commentators, and publications have begun to speak out about the failures and human cost of lockdowns and the vaccine/mask mandates.  They, along with many on the right, are applauding those who now claim that government Covid policy was a “catastrophic moral crime.”

Who are these charlatans that are embarking on a campaign to exonerate themselves from their complicity in a “catastrophic moral crime”?   Many of them were at the forefront of spreading ideologically motivated lies.  The bureaucrats, the politicians, and the Democrat party mouthpieces in the corporate media lied about the virus because they believed that honesty would not generate sufficient fear and trepidation in the overall population to justify the institution of a quasi-police state and the unconstitutional revamping of election law in key states.

These are the people who 22 months ago chose to ignore statistics from Italy and other countries, as well as the writings of world-renowned scientists that refuted the fictitious justification for mass societal lockdowns.  Instead, they reflexively regurgitated any and all government-sponsored falsehoods.  Further, they mindlessly continued to do so during the entirety of the pandemic.

Regardless of the actual data or the human cost, they marched in lockstep to whatever the leftist-dominated federal medical bureaucracy and the self-serving Democrat party hierarchy declared as being indisputable.

These are the people who vociferously condemned, ostracized, and demanded censorship of those medical professionals and conservative journalists that knew not to trust the media and the medical bureaucracy and who shouted from the rooftops that the nation had embarked on a calamitous course.  The social media oligarchs, soon to disavow their part in the “catastrophic moral crime,” played their role in making certain that dissenting voices, particularly in the medical community, were irrevocably silenced.

Had 2020 not been a presidential election year and Donald Trump not been the incumbent, the lies, the lockdowns, the unwarranted closure of schools, the suppression of existing therapeutics, the deliberate obfuscation of deaths due to Covid-19, the premeditated erosion of individual liberties, the unending decrees and the near-criminal mandates for a one-size-fits-all experimental vaccine with unknown long-term side effects would not have happened.

The underlying motivation of the unhinged reaction to Covid-19 was the fanatical determination by the ruling elites to defeat at any cost, including historically unprecedented lockdowns and massive election fraud, Donald Trump, and his populist movement.  A movement that represented an existential threat to their quest for political hegemony.  The potential damage spawned by this obsession and any resultant catastrophic carnage to the nation and the lower and middle classes was never considered.

Unthinkingly succumbing to the never-ending fear-mongering, far too many on the right and the Republican Party, by default, also aided and abetted this endgame.

Myopically focused on defeating Trump, the ruling elites apparently refused to believe that the radical left had transformed the Democrat party that now controls both houses of Congress.   Their hand-picked nominee for president has revealed himself to be, unsurprisingly if they had studied his history, the most corrupt, dangerous, addled, and self-serving president in American history.  The first year of the Biden presidency and the Democrat-controlled Congress has been an unmitigated national disaster.

The end-product of the calculated politicization and exploitation of a respiratory virus is the nearly endless litany of damage done to the American people and this nation.

Web of corruption around Isabel dos Santos still being untangled two years after Luanda Leaks

The Pandora Papers shed new light on the offshore dealings of powerful figures close to Angola’s former president who were recently sanctioned by the U.S.

Powerful Angolan political figures accused of embezzling billions of dollars can now be linked to at least 20 more secretive companies in the United States and other tax havens, exposing new financial hideaways of the impoverished African country’s former ruling elite.

Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former authoritarian president, José Eduardo dos Santos, as well as former senior presidential advisors and generals, Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento and Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias Júnior, owned offshore companies and bank accounts in Europe and the Middle East, leaked records from the Pandora Papers investigation show.

Last month, the United States government sanctioned Isabel dos Santos and the two former generals for what it called “significant corruption.” Under the new measures, dos Santos and members of her family cannot enter the United States.

The State Department also barred Nascimento, President dos Santos’ former head of communications, and Dias, a powerful former Angolan general. The U.S. Treasury Department placed Nascimento, Dias and his wife, Luisa de Fatima Giovetty, under economic sanctions.

“Bringing kleptocrats’ shady deals to light is key to defending human rights,” said Karina Carvalho, executive director of Transparency International in Portugal. “Angola is a resource rich country but the majority of its people live in poverty, prevented from accessing health, education and decent life conditions because of people who take the country’s wealth as their own.”

Two years ago, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed that Isabel dos Santos, once touted as Africa’s richest woman, built her estimated $2 billion fortune on the back of insider deals with the help of shell companies and an array of Western lawyers, accountants and wealth managers.

The Luanda Leaks investigation showed how dos Santos got access to lucrative deals involving oil, diamonds, telecoms and supermarkets often courtesy of government decrees signed by her father. She also benefited from insider deals, preferential loans and contracts fueled by public money.

Dos Santos said the allegations against her were false.

Close allies of dos Santos’s father, generals Nascimento and Dias are accused by the U.S. of siphoning off public funds for their personal benefit, too. They once held sprawling business interests and have been estimated to be billionaires.

In 2020, Nascimento and Dias voluntarily handed over assets, including residences and factories, as part of an Angolan government probe into alleged fraud and the misuse of state contracts. An attorney for the two generals has previously declined to comment on the case.

The 2021 Pandora Papers investigation, based on a trove of almost 12 million leaked records from offshore service providers based in notorious tax havens, shine new light on the trio’s financial dealings.

Dos Santos did not respond to requests for comment about her offshore companies. Nascimento and Dias could not be reached for comment.

Man Denied Life-Saving Care For Not Taking Covid Jab

By Matt Agorist

Boston, MA — Primum non nocere or “First do no harm,” is part of the Hippocratic oath to which doctors across the United States and the West swear to follow. The ethical code is issued by medical associations, such as the AMA Code of Medical Ethics, and provides a comprehensive overview of obligations and professional behavior of a doctor to their patients. This oath has been battled in courts for years over doctors refusing to participate in abortions, gender reassignment surgery, or other medical procedures based on religious beliefs or conscience — but rarely have doctors ever refused to provide life-saving procedures based on a patient’s personal choices, until the SARS-CoV-2 virus appeared in 2020.

Now, many sadistic folks, including doctors are openly cheering for the death of folks who choose not to take the covid vaccine. Unfortunately for some folks, like D.J. Ferguson, he’s even being denied a life-saving procedure because of his personal medical decision not to take the jab.

Ferguson, a father of two, is being denied a life-saving heart transplant because he hasn’t and apparently will not take the covid vaccine — as it could kill him. Given that the CEO of Pfizer has recently stated that the vaccine officers little to no protection against the most dominant variant in the United States currently, Omicron, the idea of forcing a man to take this jab for reasons of paperwork, even though it could kill him, is insidious.

Nevertheless, the hospital group is standing by their decision to let this father die because it’s their policy.

“And like many other transplant programs in the United States – the COVID-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviors required for transplant candidates in the Mass General Brigham system in order to create both the best chance for a successful operation and also the patient’s survival after transplantation,” Brigham and Women’s said in a statement.

According to Dr. Arthur Caplan,  Head of Medical Ethics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, being vaccinated is necessary for this type of procedure. “Post any transplant, kidney, heart whatever, your immune system is shut off,” Caplan said. “The flu could kill you, a cold could kill you, COVID could kill you. The organs are scarce, we are not going to distribute them to someone who has a poor chance of living when others who are vaccinated have a better chance post-surgery of surviving.”

While the jab did show promise of reducing hospitalization and severe illness last year, this has all changed with Omicron. By their own admission, even the manufacturer of the vaccine says two jabs won’t likely protect Ferguson from the virus, yet he’s currently dying in a hospital bed for not taking the shot.

According to his family, Ferguson has a hereditary heart issue that has taken a toll on his heart and body. “A combination of the low heart function, and heart medication caused three blood clots that required immediate surgery at UMASS,” a friend of the family stated on their GoFundMe page.

DJ is not some rabid antivaxxer either, according to his family, the vaccine is contraindicated in his case due to the potential swelling of the heart it may cause. And, in DJ’s case, according to his family, he cannot afford for his heart to swell any larger. The family says they have spoken with doctors who confirmed that the jab could cause him to go into a severe crisis.

“We are literally in a corner right now. This is extremely time sensitive. We’re being pressured to choose a shot that could kill him,” DJ’s wife, Heather Ferguson said.

For now, he either risks death by taking the jab — that will not protect him against Omicron, according to the Pfizer CEO — or, he faces certain death by being denied a transplant. Shameful indeed.

“People need to have a choice! People need to realize that there are others out there that are at high risk while receiving this shot, and it could kill them. Unless you’ve been in this exact situation, your opinions are irrelevant. Please have some respect for my family. 60 days ago we were under the impression that DJ had pneumonia, and now he’s desperately in need of a heart transplant. We are devastated. We can’t even process this. I haven’t even found the courage to sit down with my son and explain what is happening to his father. I can not even start to describe the pain we are all going through,” she wrote.

Losing the Attitude is a Big Step in the Right Direction

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one

3. Don’t be weird.

I understand that our culture often labels people who think abortion should be illegal as “weird.” When I say, “Don’t be weird,” I don’t mean do anything it takes to make pro-choice people like you. If that’s your goal, then you should start paying for abortions! Instead, “Don’t be weird” means don’t engage in activities that will unnecessarily offend those who disagree. Consider the pro-life advocate who dresses up in a grim reaper costume, complete with skull mask and scythe, and holds an “I’ll see you in hell” sign at an abortion facility.

Now, I bet this person cares deeply about the unborn, and I am glad he’s at least outside an abortion facility. But has he stopped to think of what the women going into this facility think when they see him? Instead of seeing someone that makes them feel safe and welcomed, those women see someone who makes them feel scared and uncomfortable.

When Abby Johnson served as a director of a Planned Parenthood in Texas and saw protesters like these she would think, “If they cared about these women, they wouldn’t look so frightening.”[5] Johnson later quit her job and became a pro-life advocate. She credits her conversion to the group 40 Days for Life who showed her genuine love and compassion while praying in front of her abortion facility.

As pro-life advocates, we become weird when we don’t think about how our words and actions affect other people. St. Paul said, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one.” (Colossians 4:6)

For example, it’s weird when we are asked about abortion in the case of rape and we spend all of our time discussing how these abortions account for less than 1% of abortions and why the child shouldn’t be punished for the crimes of his father without, even once, acknowledging how awful it would be to become pregnant through an act of rape.

Instead of going into a conversation with the attitude “I’m going to win,” go into the conversation with the attitude “I’m going to be winsome,” and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. Proverbs 15:1 reminds us,“ A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Heretics All Around?

By Fr. Jerry Pokorsky ( bioarticlesemail ) | Jan 24, 2022

In a 2019 Scientific American article, an author writes: “Contrary to popular belief, scientific research helps us better understand the unique and real transgender experience.” The article then presumes to demonstrate the scientific basis for gender fluidity.

Who are you going to believe, Scientific American or your own eyes? Scientists can easily become madmen without faith.

The light of orthodox faith provides science context and direction. Christian belief maintains sanity and common sense. “God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them.” (Genesis 5:1-2) Hence, the word “man” expresses the original unity—and community life—of males and females in marriage. The sin of Adam and Eve and our sins damage the Divine image imprinted upon us and distort our self-understanding as human beings. The Incarnation restores our humanity in Jesus and elevates our self-understanding as human beings. The human body is the “sacrament” of the soul, destined for resurrection on the Last Day.

Jesus reveals the fullness of His humanity in the Gospel. His intelligence, mission, emotional control—including a handful of angry encounters—and basic humanity are on full display. Our conscious imitation of Jesus—with His grace as we encounter Him in the sacraments—begins to perfect our wounded human nature.


A heresy is obdurate false teaching. Some heresies distort the purposes of the intellect, will, emotions, and the body, and some even deny history. Heresies prevent us from following Jesus and undermine human dignity, even if we are not formally guilty of sin. But we all sense our failures in seeking the truth, so we’re all heretics to some extent. As a result, we not only fail to see the dignity of our humanity as created by God; we risk going insane. So it is worthwhile—for purposes of mental health—learn a few lessons from heretical precepts.

Heresies of the intellect

The purpose of the intellect is to seek the truth fortified by prudence. We admire and listen to well-educated people. But we can also abuse intelligence. The creature with the most impressive intellect is Lucifer. Before his rebellion, he was the most glorious of the angels. But he refused to use his intelligence in God’s service. (“Non-serviam!”) There can be no contradiction between faith and science because science studies God’s handiwork. Scientific inquiry, medical research, and experimentation must not deny our roots in God. The search for scientific truth without God is too narrow and easily violates human dignity with absurdities.

Lesson: Never trust a doctor who asks a patient for his “sex assigned at birth.”

Heresies of the will

The purpose of the will is to make good choices with justice. We often admire people who exhibit a singular purpose. But it is heretical to live by the rule of: “I want what I want when I want it.” Heresies of the will and institutionalized selfishness lead to personal, family, and societal destruction. Self-denial—and choosing to live by God’s will—is among the most elusive virtues. Need evidence?


Lesson: The crushing national debt indicts most of us—excepting Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.

Heresies of the emotions

The package of emotions is a gift that enhances human love. Our emotions include affection, desire, and joy. Even the intensity of the passions of dislike, aversion, fear, daring, sorrow, and anger reflects the strength of human love. We must govern our emotions reasonably, with prudence, justice, temperance, and courage. Emotions are integral to our humanity, but we cannot reduce Christian love to how we feel. Jesus teaches: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (Jn. 14:15) and “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn. 15:13) Love is a choice made in freedom.

Lesson: Flee mental health professionals who confuse perverted feelings for love.

Heresies of the body

The body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit and the sacrament of the soul: an outward sign created by God to disclose the dignity of our humanity. Everyone is capable of patterns of virtue that glorify our bodies and reveal beautiful souls. Unfortunately everyone is also capable of patterns of vice that degrade our bodies and distort our souls. When heresies of the body become popular, the temptations toward such vices are multiplied. Among the heresies of the body are Hollywood obsessions, horrible mutilations of our sexuality, and the destruction of unborn babies.

Lesson: Heresies of the body are often crimes against humanity.

Listening must give way to love, and hearing to sacrifice

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bioarticlesemail ) | Jan 25, 2022


Sorry, my cork has just popped—after reading Pope Francis’ insistence that we “learn to listen” in his statement for World Communications Day.

Of course, I would not deny the importance of listening to others, especially when they have grievances. But you will seldom (or, more likely, never) hear the word “listen” used that way by Jesus Christ, His apostles, His evangelists, or St. Paul, whom Our Lord commissioned “as one untimely born” to be a special apostle to the Gentiles. The word “listen”, along with its variants, appears in thirty-three New Testament verses. As a simple demonstration, I will quote ten examples at random:

Mt 10:14: “And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.”

Lk 9:35: “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

Jn 10:20: “Many of them said, ‘He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to him?’”

Acts 13:16: “So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: ‘Men of Israel, and you that fear God, listen.’”

Acts 16:25: “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them….”

Acts 28:28: “Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

1 Cor 14: “In the law it is written, ‘By men of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.’”

2 Tim 3-4: “…but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.”

Jas 2:5: “Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him?”

1 Jn 4:5-6: “They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

Listening to proclaim

My point here is that the entire weight of Scripture, the Fathers, the Doctors of the Church, and the Saints is on our need to listen to and announce the Good News of Jesus Christ. If we’re honest Christians, listening to others is not an endless process which enables us to put off forever the effort to preach Christ and Him crucified, but merely an act of love for the purpose of finding out how best to acquaint them with the Gospel and the Church. It seems to me that, far too often today, the constant insistence on listening is used as a means of avoiding the task of telling the truth to those who are likely to tell us to shut up and get lost.

Instead, our job is to draw as close to Christ in the heart of His Church as we can, to remain honestly open to helpful criticism of any weaknesses we have not yet recognized and corrected, and above all to have the courage to go ahead and live, preach and teach Jesus Christ, to the point that it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. This was the great point that St. Paul made in writing to the Galatians:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose. [Gal 2:20-21]

Note that in this statement, St. Paul refers to the Law because of his Jewish background, affirming that even hearing the Law itself is no excuse for failing to fully represent Christ crucified and Christ risen in the ongoing life of Christ’s body the Church. In a contemporary context, we might render the sense of verse 21 thus: “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through anything else I might hear about and listen to from those who do not accept Christ, then Christ died to no purpose.”

In the Christian scheme, we listen for two reasons: (a) To understand another’s need; and (b) To express love for another through both material and spiritual assistance. We never listen as an excuse for not proclaiming the Gospel, for not adhering to the truth of Christ, or for opening up greater opportunity (as some will seek to do in a more “synodal” Church) for those who refuse to accept Christ as the way, the truth and the life. For the sake of Christ’s body the Church, the Apostles, Evangelists, Fathers, Doctors and Saints would all have rejected listening in any context which did not bring them straight back to listening directly to their Lord and Savior.

No Fear in Love

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By Jennifer Gregory Miller ( ) | Jan 21, 2022

Right now our family has not been experiencing anything usual in daily life. We’ve had snow storms and sickness to break the routine. I think we would actually be grateful for a little “ordinary” at least in health. I know by mid January most people have made and already broken their New Year’s resolutions, so I’m behind on the usual trend. I did see many of my friends with their words or saints of the year. I usually take a different approach. I examine the areas in my life I need to restructure, and then look for some spiritual inspiration on ways to tackle these resolutions through the year. January 5’s reading from the First Letter of John, 1 Jn 4:11-18, is my inspiration for the year:

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit. Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world. Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.

I love reading and contemplating the First Letter of St. John. For most weekdays during the Christmas season, the first reading is taken from the First Letter of John. As a catechist with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, I have spent a lot of time preparing children for their First Reconciliation and First Communion, with the main Scripture passage and image being the Vine and the Branches, John 15. We emphasize what it means to remain on the Vine.

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St. John in his Letter is basically expanding on ways to applying Jesus’ words to life: what does it mean to remain in His love? I particularly love the last verse:

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.

Fear can take on many forms. We can have good “fear of the Lord”, as in the gift of the Holy Spirit, where we have “respect for the majesty of God.” The wrong kind of fear, motivated by punishment, is not true love.

I see this in action as a mother. There is a huge difference when my sons do something so they won’t get in trouble compared to the times they do something motivated by love. “Let me help you make dinner, Mom.” They also feel the interior difference. There is much more joy when they are personally motivated to do something out of love than obligation or fear.

My resolution is targeted on shifting my attitude. How am I approaching my life with Christ? When I approach confession, my spiritual reading, getting up in the morning, fulfilling my daily duties, etc. what is my motivation? Am I filled with dread and consternation? Am I perturbed? Am I just doing it because I have to? If so, that is doing it out of fear.

I need to recognize and shift that fear and work on building true love’s motivation. The first step is revising and/or establishing the good habits, but the second step is looking at my motivation. This year, I’m working on remaining in His love, and rooting out the fear. As St. Paul says, “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. Your every act should be done with love” (1 Cor 16:13-14).

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