Archive

Posts Tagged ‘educational’

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.

Advertisements

What Pumpernickel Really Is

Pumpen is a German synonym for being flatulent. Nickel, or Nicholas, is equal to a devil, goblin, or demon.

Therefore pumpernickel has been known in some circles as “the devil’s fart.”

I learned that on The Big Bang Theory.

You May Not Like Communism, But Its Manifesto Has Some Great Writing In It

From the opening line of The Communist Manifesto—“A spectre is haunting Europe–the spectre of communism”—oh baby, that’s good—to the last four sentences–“Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!”—Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had me hooked.

How about this tasty lick: “In this way arose feudal socialism: half lamentation, half lampoon; half echo of the past, half menace of the future; at times, by its bitter, witty and incisive criticism, striking the bourgeoisie to the very heart’s core, but always ludicrous in its effect, through total incapacity to comprehend the march of modern history.”

Who could forget this pungent whiff: “In political practice, therefore, they join in all coercive measures against the working class; and in ordinary life, despite their high falutin’ phrases, they stoop to pick up the golden apples dropped from the tree of industry, and to barter truth, love, and honour for traffic in wool, beetroot-sugar, and potato spirits.”

And what about the rich imagery of this: “The robe of speculative cobwebs, embroidered with flowers of rhetoric, steeped in the dew of sickly sentiment, this transcendental robe in which the German Socialists wrapped their sorry “eternal truths,” all skin and bone, served to wonderfully increase the sale of their goods amongst the public.”

I was so enveloped in the writing style, I didn’t absorb any of the ideals or theories put forth, except that Marx and Engels did call for income tax, as well as free public schools for children, so Amurica’s got a lil’ communist in her after all.

You Learn Something New Every Day

The phrase “you learn something new every day” really is true. For instance, at about 1:30 this morning I learned two things:

1) My friend Ben shaves his armpits.

2) If you shave your armpits, never, ever, announce it at a party, because you will get made fun of. A lot.

Book Review: All Facts Considered by Kee Malesky

All Facts Considered – The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge, by NPR librarian Kee Malesky, covers a wide variety of interesting facts, some worth knowing, some not. Here’s a small spray of topics covered:

–The abbreviations et al. (Latin, et alii or et aliae) and etc. (Latin, et cetera) have the same basic meaning: and others, and the rest, and so on. The difference is that et al. should be used when referring to people, and etc. when referring to things.

–The platypus and the anteater are the world’s only monotremes, or mammals that lay eggs.

–Male seahorses get pregnant.

–A cheese connoisseur is called a turophile.

–It takes nearly a year and about 450 different laborers to make a Steinway grand piano, which has over 12,000 parts.

–18th century physicians used a tobacco smoke enema to revive drowning victims.

–Frankenstein is not the name of the monster, it’s the name of the scientist who fabricated him; in the book, he named his creation Adam.

–Martin Van Buren was the first president born in the United States; all the earlier presidents were born in the colonies.

There are many, many more. Good book.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple

Growing older is inevitable. Growing up is optional.

createdbyrcw

Seer of the invisible, scribe of the unwritten

Regie's Blog

The pen is mightier than the sword ...unless someone is trying to stab you with a sword. Then, it's the sword ...definitely the sword.

Idiot Joy Showland

This is why I hate intellectuals

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Dalton's Magazine

Spanning the world with pieces of think

You're Fine

a blog about things that shouldn't matter

ROAMIN' GNOMIALS

Empowered by guys in short pants to write whatever I want, whenever I want, for no money whatsoever.

Highest Form of Whit

Bigger. Bolder. Bloggier.*

Suzie Speaks

The Adventures Of a Thirty-Something Life

Duh'Merica

.....teasing the stunted masses with my opposable thumbs....

The Brown Road Chronicles

Stories about country living, old houses, dirt roads, fresh air and other amusing (and possibly even inspirational) anecdotes!

I Miss You When I Blink

and other classics

a comedian's notebook

taking comedy seriously, but not too seriously

Still Skeptical After All These Years

Jim Wheeler - Rational Skeptic

The Shameful Sheep

shit storms, shame, and stories that make you cringe

pen pals on pills

there are no meds for crippling separation anxiety

%d bloggers like this: