Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Invention of the Chainsaw

A quick tale today that I heard on QI (Series J, episode "Just the Job"). TRIGGERS FOR CHILDBIRTH/GROSS MEDICAL STUFF Chainsaws were originally invented for cutting a woman's pelvis if she was having difficulty giving birth. In 1783, Scottish doctors … Continue reading

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The Skeleton in the Bale

I found this story on Futility Closet here. The original source was the Atlanta Constitution from October 2, 1892. It tells a story from the Civil war thirty years previously. "Discharged after losing a leg in battle, Confederate colonel Clay … Continue reading

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Liszt-Mania

I found this story on my day calendar called Jeff Kacirk's "Forgotten English", from October 22, 2013, which was the anniversary of the birthday of Franz Liszt. He was a "Hungarian-born composer and consummate ladies' man, who followed the example … Continue reading

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Life of Pi(elletier)

I found the following story on Futility Closet's blog here. In August 1857, 13-year-old Narcisse Pelletier left Marseilles as a cabin boy aboard the Saint-Paul, a three-masted ship bound for Sydney. The ship struck a reef in Papua New Guinea, … Continue reading

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Benjamin Franklin: Magnificent Bastard

I found this fun story on Futility Closet's blog here. The original source was Carl Holliday's The Wit and Humor of Colonial Days, 1912. "One day [Ben Franklin] came, half-frozen from his long ride, to a wayside inn. A great … Continue reading

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Domestic Spies

Just a quick one today. I found this on Futility Closet's blog here. The original source was The Laws of Etiquette, by “A Gentleman,” 1836. “Servants are a necessary evil. He who shall contrive to obviate their necessity, or remove … Continue reading

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Toxic Love

I found this decidedly messed-up story on @HistoryWeird's blog here. The original source was Dr C. Mangor's “The history of a woman poisoned by a singular method” in Transactions of the Royal Society of Copenhagen, v.3, 1787; Sir Robert Christison, … Continue reading

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