Monthly Archives: January 2016

Practice Makes Perfect

Just a really quick one today–I’m reblogging this from Futility Closet’s site here. In 1863, the register of the U.S. Treasury, L.E. Chittenden, had to sign 12,500 bonds in a single weekend to stop the delivery of two British-built warships … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Prudes

I found this story on an episode of QI (series M, episode “Middle Muddle”). Here’s a couple of quick tales about people who were RRREAL uncomfortable with sex. The first is about Lady Jane Stanley, daughter of the 11th Earl of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Whale of a Time

I found this story on an episode of QI (series M, episode “Middle Muddle”). This is just a quick one today, but I hope what it lacks in length it makes up in bat-shit insanity. Apparently in the late nineteenth century, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Balzac’s Marriage Advice

I found this story on an episode of QI. The author Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) advised dissecting a woman before marrying her. In 1829 Balzac wrote The Physiology of Marriage in which he wrote: “A man ought not to marry without having studied … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bicycle Face

I discovered this story from an episode of QI (series M, episode “Miscellany”). As we’ve discussed on this blog before, there was a great deal of anxiety in the Victorian era (and every era in the history of the world, to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jelly Babies

For my American readers (who aren’t also classic Doctor Who fans), there is a British candy called “Jelly Babies“. They’re kind of like gummy bears, but shaped like babies, and I think they’re kind of gross, but loads of people like … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Creation of the Smithsonian

I found this story in a BBC article here, around the time that the Smithsonian Museum was celebrating its 250th anniversary. The article reads, “Inside a small crypt near the entrance of the Smithsonian castle on Washington’s National Mall is … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments