April 5, 2009

St. Patrick’s Lore

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:48 pm by davidmanning

I thought I posted this a few weeks ago — in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The post was still in ‘draft’ this whole time. Sorry.

We all know St. Patrick supposedly got all the snakes out of Ireland, but here are a couple more apocryphal claims about St. Pat.

According to various legends, St. Patrick of Ireland:

  • Personally created the first Waterford crystal.
  • Chased Finn MacCool over the Irish Sea.
  • When challenged by the Devil, played the violin with such technique and gusto that the Devil handed the saint a version of the instrument made of the purest gold.
  • Introduced the garden slug to the island.
  • Of the four patron saints of the British Isles (George, Patrick, Andrew and David), was known as ‘the quiet one’.
  • As an act of ascetic devotion, lived on nothing but raisins for 17 years.
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February 28, 2009

Community College of the Stars

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:45 am by davidmanning

John A. Logan College in Illinois, USA,  has the most Pulitzer Prize winners of any USA community college (similar to a secondary school or tech college rather than Uni).

The three winners are Donald Goines, Kilgore Trout (of Vonnegut fame) and Lena Pukalie.

Not bad, eh?

February 21, 2009

Lots of synonyms

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:15 am by davidmanning

We all know about the 500 Eskimo words for ‘snow’ and the 40 French words for ‘bread’, but here are a few more languages with a weird amount of words for specific things.

  • Greek: Nine for ‘grape’
  • Irish (Gaelic): Twelve for ‘fornication’
  • Italian: Six for ‘revenge’
  • Swiss: Fourteen for ‘peace’

Well, I’m off to buy some ‘kolpina’ and ‘pain aux tresse’. Hope your enemies don’t get ‘focaccina’ on you. ‘Pacen’ to all and let’s all ‘iasc’ tonight.

February 11, 2009

Mysteries of the Female Body

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:59 am by davidmanning

WARNING: This is a more risque post than most, so mind your kids.

One of the earliest ‘sexperts‘ in history is Bombay-born mystic Ravichandra Chandahar (Third Century A.D.), the man who claims to have perfected telepathic orgasms.

An early proponent of the Kamashastra tradition, which most famously were included in the Kama Sutra, Chandahar claimed to have identified 483 erogenous zones on the female body. Some of the more notable ones include:

  • Where the muscles meet in the woman’s armpit
  • The tip of the second-smallest toes on each foot
  • The webbing between the pinkie and ring fingers
  • The upper part of the earlobe

Chandahar said proper manipulation of any of those alone could make a woman climax within minutes.

If that doesn’t leave the gals gagging for it, Chandahar also claimed he could give a woman an orgasm by mentally accessing her chakras, in essence telepathic orgasms.

Wouldn’t that be a lovely party trick?

February 9, 2009

Facebook group

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 8:13 pm by davidmanning

We have a Facebook group!

A mate of mine from America (all right, so he’s an e-mail friend) has started a Facebook group about the site! Click on the link above and join up!

Also, don’t forget to ‘friend’ me!

February 8, 2009

Naughty, Naughty Ungulate

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:16 pm by davidmanning

One of the most (ahem) interestingly named animals around is the Filipino Molesting Tapir (tapirus filipansi).

The animal, native to a small area around Manila, Philippines, is called the molesting tapir not because of any sexual cravings, but because of the Spanish ‘molestar‘, which means ‘to bother’ or ‘to annoy’. The tapir is a notable pest, not only not afraid of man, but often seeking out people to beg food from.

The tapir made the IUCN 2008 Red List of Threatened Species due in part to its man-seeking nature, which makes it easy prey for hunters.

February 2, 2009

They died HOW????

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 3:38 am by davidmanning

Greek philosophers Hylopetes and Alcesacles were reportedly killed in 400 BCE after Hylopetes attempted to jump from a great height into a large trough of water. Alcesacles, fearing his friend was aimed to miss the trough, tried to push it under Hylopetes but instead, tumbled into it and drowned. Alcesacles was right. Hylopetes did miss the container.

January 31, 2009

Weird vocab

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 4:12 am by davidmanning

A few more words for you to uglate (learn):

  • Marinomase – A new type of sugar created in an Italian laboratory in 1939.
  • Filfil – A colourful fish found in the central area of Florida in the U.S.
  • Rustmouth – Another fish, this time one from Algeria.

January 28, 2009

Obama-rama

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 7:11 pm by davidmanning

Here are some facts (loosely) connected with the new American president, Barack Obama.

  • While ‘Change You Can Believe In’ was an inspiring slogan, it had coincidentally been used twice before. It had been used before by presidents James Buchanan and Warren G. Harding. When questioned by members of the German media, Obama speechwriters said they were unaware of the previous usages but this did not change Obama’s message.
  • There is a red dwarf star in the Peony nebula called Obama 7-A. It was named this 14 YEARS BEFORE OBAMA WAS BORN!!!
  • The strangely similar Irish surname O’Bama means ‘Son of Bramaugh’.

January 26, 2009

More loony laws

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 2:03 pm by davidmanning

  • In London, it’s still technically legal to marry your pet, although the marrying (and consent) age is still 16. So if you want to marry an ancient dog …
  • It’s illegal to take fishing tackle across Canadian provincial borders without a permit.
  • In the Czech Republic, a married man cannot be in a single woman’s bedchambers after 1 a.m.
  • In Australia, drinking in public before 9 a.m. is a civil offense.

January 22, 2009

The Denbigh Castle Rat

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:19 pm by davidmanning

Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Chupacabra aren’t the only ‘cryptids’ known to ‘cryptozoologists’. One of the lesser-known such monsters is the Denbigh Castle Rat.

Since 1975, the rat has been intermittently spotted around Denbigh Castle near the town of Denbighshire in northeast Wales. Described as between one and one-and-a-half metres long, with ‘glowing green eyes’, the rat has been spotted seven documented times since then, the most recent in 2006, by an American backpacker named Hallie Marteen.

From Marteen’s blog, hallieoverseas.blogspot.com:

‘Carol and I went to this cute castle in Wales. While she was talking to this German couple, I wandered off and saw the nastiest, grossest rat I have ever seen. It was about three feet long and when it saw me, it hissed and ran off down this big hole. It had the greenest eyes. I told the ticket lady about the rat when we left and she got all freaked out. Said the “Castle Rat” is a local legend. I just thought it was a gross rat.’

Spooky, huh?

January 20, 2009

Presidential firsts

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 8:35 am by davidmanning

With the Americans set to inaugurate their first Black president, here are a few more firsts for heads of the USA.

Franklin Roosevelt — First president to have attended uni on both American coasts.

Calvin Coolidge — First president to have been a professional basketball player.

Zachary Taylor — First president not to have written his own epitaph.

William Taft — First president born on a Tuesday.

December 31, 2008

Animals can’t …

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 5:03 am by davidmanning

Here’s a list of a few things certain animals just can’t do:

  • Turkeys can’t blink.
  • Mules can’t step sideways.
  • Canarys can’t sing while flying.
  • Cats can’t hear music.

December 28, 2008

Phobias of the Phamous (Famous)

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:31 pm by davidmanning

Even the rich and famous have troubles with unreasonable fears, or ‘phobias’. Here are a few of the best.

  • John Bonham of Led Zepplin was a notorious germophobe, who would make his ‘groupies‘ scrub up for 15 to 20 minutes before he would touch them.
  • Benjamin Disraeli could not stand to be in the same room as shellfish. In 1872, he wrote to his brother that ‘the crab is a monstrous creature, more akin to a spider than anything a man of sanity should put in his mouth’.
  • 1800s footballer William Cropper, best known for dying due to match-related injuries, was terribly afraid of Yorkshire Terriers.

December 26, 2008

Christmas fun

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 11:49 pm by davidmanning

Until Chinese professor and professional barber Clement Moore wrote ‘The Night Before Christmas’, lore had that there were actually 12 reindeer on Father Christmas’ sleigh. They were:

  • Donner and Blitzen (Thunder and Lightning)
  • Sonne and Mond (Sun and Moon)
  • Leben and Tod (Life and Death)
  • Hoffnung and Verzweiflung (Hope and Despair)
  • Liebe and Hass (Love and Hatred)
  • Darmentleerung and Harn (Defaecation and Urine)

On Urine, on Despair, on Hatred and Shite! Nope. Looks like Clement made the right choice.

Ta, David.

December 20, 2008

Pug love

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 12:36 pm by davidmanning

Pug dogs are cute, lovable and very sweet little pups, but the hyper-inbred breed are host to a variety of ailments including:

  • Retinal ticks
  • Flaming bowel syndrome
  • Wurster ear
  • Malodorous sclerosis, and finally
  • Herpes

December 18, 2008

Weird vocab

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 1:13 am by davidmanning

Sorry about the delays lately. Things should be evening out in the near future. In the meantime, here’s two fun words for you:

  • Glate (jargon): To shave excess sugar off hard candy during the moulding process.
  • Flütterdore (archaic): A bee, wasp or hornet.

Hope that makes your day a little sweeter!

Ta, David.

December 14, 2008

Rarest watch

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:35 pm by davidmanning

The rarest watch in the world is the Tormijooksuga. It is reputed to have been constructed only five times.

Made by Estonian watchmaker Urmo Aava, the Tormijooksuga has been rumoured to have been owned by Leonid Brezhnev, Henry Kissinger and three private collectors.

Adding to the history of grand complication watches, the Tormijooksuga not only had a tourbillon to compensate for the earth’s gravity, but rare earth magnets and twin gyroscopes to deal with the coriolis effect, which deals with the rotation of moving spheres. In other words, it’s why the loo flushes the other way in Australia.

No example of the watch is currently known to exist.

December 10, 2008

Hair of the Dog

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 3:48 pm by davidmanning

According to a Jerusalem Institute of Applied Biology study, exposure to the hair of the Weimaraner breed of dog has been linked to pancreatic cancer in case studies of pregnant women.

December 8, 2008

He out-Prousted Proust

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 7:56 am by davidmanning

Christopher Ogden Nicholson (1899-1931) was not the most prolific author in the world, nor was he regarded as anywhere near the best. But Nicholson did have one enduring credit — some consider him the most long-winded.

At the time of his death from tubercular pneumonia at age 31, Nicholson was reportedly midway (3,781 hand-written pages) into a semi-autobiographical novel he had entitled ‘Memory Dissuaded’.

The book — which he had threateningly entitled ‘Volume 1’ — contained such detailed passages a 271-page description of feeding a single chunk of bread to a Mallard duck on a lake by the house of the narrator’s parents.

The book remains, needless to say, unpublished.

December 6, 2008

On being a little ‘down’

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:05 am by davidmanning

For millenia, the male fear of not “rising” to the occassion has plagued many. Here are some folk remedies used through history.

  • Sumerians: In a technique no doubt created by the lads, one technique described in an early Sumerian text was to spend a week living with — and sleeping with –the wife’s sister in a tent at least 40 cubits from the village.
  • Incas: Rubbing the affected (or unaffected, if you will) area with gravel trod on by a pregnant mule was one technique early European missionaries reported.
  • British: One witchfinders guide from the 1600s said one way witches used to cure male problems was to take a small gudgeon fish and insert it in the rectum of an afflicted male whilst he bites into a mandrake root. No word on whether the fish was alive before or after the process.
  • Calveranians: An early king in this enemy of classical Greece was said to have sacrificed a child every time he had ‘inadequacies’, although this might have been propaganda on the part of orator Demosthenes.

December 2, 2008

Human body facts

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 1:09 pm by davidmanning

Sorry for the brief break, but here are a few in a row to make up for it. The topic? Us.

  • 60 percent of the potassium in the human body is stored in the hair.
  • While it’s not true that people’s nails and hair grow after death, the eyes often open as the body dries, pulling back the lids. This is where the phrase ‘Evil Eye’ comes from.
  • Freckles are caused by photosensitive bacterial clusters living under the skin. Anti-bacterial facial scrubs can help tone them down, but not cure them.
  • Blondes might have more fun, but people with ginger hair live an average 6.2 years longer.

Ta, David.

November 27, 2008

A sailor’s story

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 9:37 am by davidmanning

A mere 11 years before the famous Eastland Disaster, a short tale entitled ‘The Wreck of The Chicago’ was published in The Strand. It dealt with the fictional wreck of a charter boat in Chicago, USA, that killed hundreds, just like the Eastland would more than a decade later.

Similar to ‘Futility’, a novel which had many similarities to the later Titanic disaster, ‘The Wreck of The Chicago’ had even eerier similarities to the real-life Eastland sinking, including the names and stories of four figures:

Eerie.

November 24, 2008

Two for you today

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:56 pm by davidmanning

  • The Victorian term for the slight clacking noise made by knitting needles was ‘kittering’. It featured prominently in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens.
  • The short-lived Scottish lad mag Baws got sued in 1996 when it held a ‘World’s Weakest Man’ competition as a piss-take on the yearly strongman competition. A 23-year-old multiple sclerosis sufferer name of Gerald Fletcher tried to enter the contest, but was denied on the basis of an unfair advantage. After the suit was settled, Fletcher told the press his attempts at entry were just to shame the magazine for what he called a ‘stupid and bigoted’ contest. He donated his entire settlement to MS research.

Cheers, David.

November 23, 2008

Count D-d-d-duckula!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 11:09 am by davidmanning

The Argentinian Vampire Duck (Netta sanguinis) was so named by later Christian missionaries, who mistook the waterfowls’ habit of feeding on parasitic lice from other ducks’ neck as an act of vampirism or cannibalism. It also goes by the informal name ‘The Ghoul Bird’.

November 22, 2008

Super-Cartoonist

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 4:48 pm by davidmanning

Evan Collier (1892-1961) has the world record for most prolific cartoonist. From 1923 to 1958, Collier ghost-drew from four to, at one point, 12 daily comic strips. Mostly noted for his uncanny ability to mimic other artists’ styles, Collier is also the creator of the comic book superhero “The Fighting Flyboy.”

November 21, 2008

The Dancing King

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 2:27 am by davidmanning

Here’s a fun one for you.

  • Burmese King Kung Sondak (1861-1925) was notoriously afraid of demons, so much so that he had his servants dance in his bedchambers whilst he slept. The joyous (put presumably quiet) dancing was to drive away the demons, who, it was believed, fed on fear and misery.

Cheers, David.

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