Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Pope Joan And Patriarchal Folly

Here is a legend:

During the Middle Ages, a learned woman named Joan may or may not have risen to the rank of pope by disguising herself as a man. Google Pope Joan if you like.

This brings us to the quote of the year, so far. In The Secrets of the Tarot: Origins, History, and Symbolism, Barbara G. Walker writes:

“Whether Pope Joan was legendary or not, a strange Vatican custom appeared after what the church insisted was not her reign. Candidates for the papacy seated themselves naked on an open stool, like a toilet seat, to be viewed through a hole in the floor by cardinals in a room below. The committee then had to render a formal verdict: Testiculos habet, et bene pendentes—-“He has testicles, and they hang all right.”

The men of the church would rather gaze up at an old guy’s scrotum than mistakenly allow a woman to assume power.

Beards Ignite Primordial Lust In Women, Whether They Care To Admit It Or Not

Anthropology lesson: At the dawn of humanity, all men had beards. If a man couldn’t grow one, he was clubbed over the head with a mammoth femur, defecated on, and tossed off a cliff. By a guy with a beard. Why such harsh vibes toward the bald-faces? The reasons:

1) In those days, due to the life expectancy of early humans, an 18-year-old was considered to be a seasoned old man. Here in the present, he would be equivalent to any run-of-the-mill septuagenarian, in terms of longevity. Yet, unlike any run-of-the-mill septuagenarian of today, these “wise old” 18-year-olds were very capable of getting their breed on. Any man that didn’t have a beard by age 18 was believed to be possessed by impotent demons. As mis amigos Mexicanos would say, they were no bueno para chaka-chaka.

2) It’s natural for beards to grow. From the wisdom of the Taoists:

“Let everything be allowed to do what it naturally does, so that its nature will be satisfied.”

And if your face doesn’t naturally grow hair, its nature will be dominated and destroyed by someone whose face has the nature of beard-growing, because it is natural for humans to mock, hate, torture, and ridicule things that are bizarre and weird to them.

And so the thesis goes—women have deeply-ingrained sensory receptors that tell them to be wildly attracted to men with beards, because that is the natural way of evolution, the ultimate symbol of fecundity and virility. As you walk the path, women will tell you that too much facial hair is quote “nast” and that you “have peanut butter sauce in your beard.” Valid points? Of course. This doesn’t mean that the most remote regions of their mammalian subconscious mind aren’t whirring, wheeling, and enveloped with images of beards dancing circles around their heads.

It Is This Blog’s Birthday

This Blog is two years old today.

Categories: Fun Facts, History

Kim Jong-il Dead

I heard all this on the radio this morning. Most of this is coming from official North Korean literature:

-The first time Kim Jong-il ever played golf, he shot 38 under par, including 11 holes-in-one. Only his body guards witnessed the round.

-When he was born, winter immediately turned to spring, and rainbows appeared.

-He didn’t defecate.

-His suits became a global fashion craze.

-He was once prescribed painkillers, and, fearing addiction, made all of his closest associates take them as well. That way he wouldn’t be the only addict.

-His mood influenced the weather.

-He was the world’s biggest Hennessey customer.

Friday Fun Facts – September 16

Welcome to the 259th day of the year. 2 + 5 + 9 = 16. Math. Well, here’s a list of stuff that has happened on September 16 throughout the annals of history.

1620 – A bunch of disease-ridden vanilla-faces set off for America aboard the Mayflower.

1810 – Arrrrriiba! Mexico began an 11-year war that would give them freedom from the dastardly Spaniards. For some reason they celebrate the day the war began, not when it ended. That is why today is Mexican Independence Day.

1925 – B.B. King was born.

1956 – David Copperfield was born. I read an illuminating story about him on Wikipedia. In April of 2006, D-Cop and two of his female assistants were robbed at gunpoint after a show. The girls gave up their money and cell phones. David said in the police report that he didn’t give up anything, because he had used sleight of hand to conceal his valuables. Now THAT’S a magician.

1964 – Molly Shannon was born. I wonder what she is doing at this exact moment.

1971 – Amy Poehler was born. She’s married to the guy who played G.O.B. Bluth, so she’s alright in my book. Plus she’s got a kid named Archibald.

1975 – Papa New Guinea was able to escape the cold clutch of the Australians, so it’s Independence Day there as well.

1981 – Fan Bingbing was born. She’s a Chinese person. She acts or something.

Double Blong (Blog Song) today. Here’s the first, a live performance from Thanksgiving 1972 at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York. Only hardcore badasses do prison shows. B.B. King – How Blue Can You Get?

And here’s the second, which uses a sample from the first. Primitive Radio Gods – Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand.

Friday Fun Facts – This Day in History

Wow, I know this is hard to believe, but it was only 1,369 short years ago in 642 that Penda of Mercia defeated Oswald of Northumbria at the Battle of Maserfield.

Here are some other notable events that took place on this day throughout the sacred halls of history:

-1305: William Wallace was captured, capping off an influential run of events that, over 600 years later, would make for a pretty cool movie.

1763: The Battle of Bushy Run took place.

1861: The US Army abolished flogging.

1962: Oh good, it’s Patrick Ewing’s birthday.

Kind of a lame day.

Old Mentos Commercials

The title says it all. Here are old Mentos Commercials.

Man, just think if I had a dollar for every time Mentos got me out of a jam. I literally wouldn’t be able to buy a roll of Mentos. I don’t even think I’ve ever had a Mentos before. Probably because I’ve always had a strict personal constitution to avoid situations where I have to rely on a breath mint to help me out. Have a splendid weekend.

Johnny Appleseed: Enabler?

*The following report is based on the program “Botany of Desire” which aired on PBS last night.

Johnny Appleseed (AKA John Chapman): missionary, tree farmer, and inadvertent harbinger of alcoholism? Say what? I became aware last night of a fascinating historical correlation that linked Johnny’s apples to a generation of hard-cider swilling vagrants. Read on.

-In order to understand how this came to be, we must first understand the nature of the apple. Apple seeds, by their natural temperament, are governed by the laws of  heterozygosity. Meaning, in this case, that planting an apple seed is a veritable free-for-all. Ergo, the offspring of a seed more often than not will produce fruit that is radically different than the parent plant. And equally as often, the new tree will yield fruit with a bitter, gut-wrenching taste. Neato.

-So where do we keep getting our favorites such as Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and the best apple of all time, the Honeycrisp? Through the wonderful world of grafting! A simple root-stock is planted, and a bud from the desired species is grafted onto that root-stock, producing a tree with those genes. Amazing.

-You are probably wondering where Johnny fits into all of this. Cool your jets, we’re getting there. When Mr. Appleseed was making the rounds with his almost fetish-like love for apples, he would plant only the seeds.  Johnny would then skip the scene when the seedlings were big enough to grow on their own. Note that no grafting took place. Oh no!

-As immigrants continued to arrive in the U.S., they were very skeptical of the water supply, and also had a large cache of awful-tasting apples, thanks to J-Chap. So naturally, they figured, “why not make some hard cider?”  The fermentation process would get rid of any threat of contamination, leaving behind a boozy, apple-y blend that may or may not cause blindness. And BAM! By the 1830s, cider fever had reached a boiling point, with the only solution in sight being to drink more hard cider.

-At that point in the program I stopped paying attention, but I assume everything turned out OK, because we’re all still here right? Well, I’m about to go absolutely wreck a nice juicy Braeburn. Happy Wednesday.

This innocent fruit cost a man his marriage, house, and dignity.

Here’s the Blong. “Very Small Rock” by Happy Apple. Not the best sound quality, but a very good song.
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