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.

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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.

November 20, 2008

Zombie Fest and Superhero Pilgrims

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:18 am by davidmanning

Welcome to the first post on Fun Facts for You. I’m David, trivia-mad designer, and I probably won’t be posting this many tidbits each time, but here are a few of my favourite ones that have been building up for a while:

  • Dhaka Zoo in rural Botswana is the only site in the world with a live coelacanth in captivity.
  • The US city of Zombi, Ohio, held a yearly Romero Fest from 1981 to 1996 to honour the ‘Living Dead’ series of films. It was discontinued due to rising incidents of graveyard vandalism by revelers.
  • Douglas Adams fans rejoice! There is a real-life Babel Fish. However, unlike the fictional, telepathic translator fish from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books, the real Babel Fish is a small, dark lungfish native to the Dead Sea. It was first documented in 1861 by British naturalist Tobias Gregson, who termed it “a fish of Babylon.” Its name was shortened over the years.
  • The passenger list of the Mayflower pilgrim ship contains both a ‘Clarke Kent‘ and a ‘Bruce Wayne‘.
  • It’s illegal in the Canadian town of Goderich to have cutlery plated with gold.

That’s it for now!

Cheers, David