Monthly Archives: December 2014

Adrian Carton de Wiart

Today let’s talk about Adrian Carton de Wiart, who, let’s be honest, scares me a little bit. I don’t know if this guy is the most extreme adrenaline junkie I’ve ever heard of, or had a death wish, or a … Continue reading

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The Hollow Earth

Hello, all! Sorry for the long Christmas hiatus. I found the following story on Jeff Kacirk's "Forgotten English" calendar from September 3, 2013. Today let's talk about American army captain John Cleves Symmes (1780-1829). Symmes spent most of his adult … Continue reading

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Junk Wine

I found this story on @WeirdHistory's blog here. The original source was August Gottlieb Ricther's Bibliothek, Vol. 7, 1794. If you ever have a medical emergency where your junk is ripped off, the best the worst AN ANSWER, I GUESS … Continue reading

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Off Duty

I found this story on Futility Closet's blog here. The original source was the Hawke’s Bay Herald, New Zealand, June 28, 1895. This is one dedicated soldier: "A striking story is going the rounds concerning an officer who, being refused … Continue reading

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Famous Last Words

This post was inspired by this last week's episode of QI, in which Stephen Fry ended the show by quoting Ramon Maria Narvaez, 1st Duke of Valencia, who died in 1868. Narvaez was asked, on his deathbed, if he would … Continue reading

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John Sheldon and the Mummified Mistress

I found the following story in Deirdre Coleman and Hilary Fraser's edited collection of essays, Minds, Bodies, Machines (p. 2). In 1775, British surgeon anatomist John Sheldon's mistress died. Well, some sources say she was his mistress. Some say she … Continue reading

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More Overly Elaborate Duels

My previous post talked about ridiculous and creative duels-by-poisonous-animals. Today let's talk about some man-made ways to die. While nature is less obviously involved, this is still a pretty good demonstration of natural selection at work. I found these stories … Continue reading

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