Text of 6 Hover Notes for FYI webessay, “The Growing Body of Evidence Connecting Cancers to the Modern Retail Economy”

#1 (of 6)

“greenwashing” — Defined as “The action of representing activities, products or practices that are harmful to the environment as somehow less harmful, benign, or even beneficial.” ::

#2 (of 6)

“The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions.” — This is a modern adaptation of the earlier English proverb, Hell is full of good intentions, which a mid-17th-century polyglot collection of proverbs (Paroimiographia. Proverbs, or, Old Sayed Sawes & Adages in English (or the Saxon Toung), Italian, French, and Spanish, whereunto the British for their Great Antiquity and Weight Are Added ..., London, 1659) classified as Spanish in origin, giving two slightly different versions of it: “De buenas intenciones esta lleno el infierno.” and “El Infierno es lleno de buenas intenciones.” Here it is glossed: “Quiere dezir, que no ay pecador por malo que sea, que no tenga intencion de meiorar la vida, mas la muerte le sobreprende. / This proverb signifies, that there’s no sinner how bad soever, but hath an intention to better his life, although death doth surprise him.” (James Howell, Paroimiographia, 1659, “Proverbs, or Adages in the Spanish Toung ... in Portuguez, Catalan, and Gallego ...,” 29)
  A later collection of English proverbs obscures its Spanish origins, and documents subtle shifts in meaning with the new Anglicized adage: “Hell is full of good meanings and wishes.” (John Ray, A Collection of English Proverbs ... Whereunto Are Added Local Proverbs ... and Scottish Proverbs ... and an Appendix of Hebrew Proverbs ..., 2nd rev. edn., 1678, p. 13)
  There were multiple riffs on this early English version of the Spanish proverb, such as by the physician Richard Whitlock (b. 1616), who wrote in his Zoötomia, or a Morall Anatomy of the Living by the Dead (London, 1654), “It is a saying among Divines, that Hell is full of good Intentions, and Meanings; but I think it may be inverted; good Meanings rather pretended than intended, are ful of Hel, and Mischiefe." (Whitlock, 203)
  I do not know when the metaphor of a paved road was added to the Anglicized proverb, shifting the meaning once again from an emphasis on the perils of delayed, well-intended action (in quest of salvation) to an emphasis on well-intended actions with dire consequences. ::

#3 (of 6)

“Coral and its Preparations” — Europe’s most common ethnobotanical preparations were “an Officinal Composition, call’d Syrup of Coral, often prescrib’d by Physicians; as is the Pouder [powder] of Coral finely ground.” (Ephraim Chambers, Cyclopaedia, or, an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, 2 vols., 1st edn., 1728, 1.326) ::

#4 (of 6)

“the Fluor Albus” — Aka “the whites,” or leucorrhœa, referring to “a mucous or mucopurulent discharge from the lining membrane of the female genital organs.” (Oxford English Dictionary) Physicians such as Walter Charleton (1620–1707) believed that English women were particularly “troubled with the Fluor albus, all the time of their Gravidation [pregnancy]” because they lived “in this our moist Iland.”
  Comfrey was also prescribed to treat the condition. ::

#5 (of 6)

“a Testaceous Pouder” — A medicinal powder prepared from the shells of animals, usually “such Fish [as crabs], whose strong and thick Shells are intire and of a Piece: Those which are soft, thin, and consist of several Pieces jointed, as the Lobster, &c. being called Crustaceous.”
  “Dr. Quincy, and others, suppose the Virtue of all Testaceous Medicines to be alike; that they seldom or never enter the Lacteals; but that the chief of their Action is in the first Passages; in which Case, they are of great Use in absorbing Acidities.... Hence they become of Use in Fevers, and especially in rectifying the many Distempers in Children, which generally owe their Origin to such Acidities.” (Ephraim Chambers, Cyclopaedia, or, an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, 2 vols., 1st edn., 1728, 2.197) ::

#6 (of 6)

“a negative influence on annual precipitation rates” — This had a profound effect on 17th-century navigators, who used the cloud-pattern formations over the various Caribbean islands for identification: “... For, as the Sun declines, the Clouds gather, and shape according to the Mountains, so that old Seamen will tell you each Island in the afternoon towards Evening by the shape of the Cloud over it. And this Attraction appears further, not only from the Rain that gathers on the Tree in the Island of Ferro, spoken of by J. Hawkins in his Observations, and Is. Vossius upon Pemponius Mela, as also Magnenus de Manna; but also from the Rains in the Indies....” (H. Stubbe, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, July–Sept. 1667, 2.27: 497) ::