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History

Another 20 Historical Oddities You Don’t Know

JT . . . Comments

Our first list on Historical Oddities was very popular, so we are now presenting you with a second list! Here are 20 strange facts of history that you are probably not aware of.

Oddities 1 – 5

Darwin Aped

1. Charles Darwin married his first cousin.

2. John F. Kennedy, Anthony Burgess, Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis all died on the same day.

3. Officially, the longest war in history was between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly, which lasted from 1651 to 1986. There were no casualties.

4. Gay marriage was legally recognized in Rome, and Nero himself married at least two gay couples.

5. Adolf Hitler’s nephew, William Hitler, immigrated to the United States in 1939 and fought against his uncle.

Oddities 6 – 10

Henryviii12

6. Thomas Paine was elected to the first post-revolution French parliament, despite not speaking a word of the language.

7. William Howard Taft is the only US President to come third in his campaign for re-election, losing to eventual winner Woodrow Wilson and fellow Republican Theodore Roosevelt.

8. Technically, Henry VIII had only two wives. Four of his marriages were annulled.

9. King Richard II invented the handkerchief.

10. The Parliament of Iceland is the oldest still acting parliament in the world. It was established in 930.

Oddities 11 – 15

Sark

11. The people who founded the Futurism art movement also founded the first Italian Fascist party in 1918.

12. Albert Einstein was offered the role of Israel’s second President in 1952, but declined.

13. New Zealand was the first country to enfranchise women. It gave them the vote in 1895.

14. The 27th amendment to the US constitution took 202 years to ratify, having been proposed in 1789 and finally ratified in 1992.

15. Until April 2008, the island of Sark remained the last feudal state in Europe.

Oddities 16 – 20

Tower-Of-Pisa

16. Tomatoes were considered poisonous for many years in Europe and they were grown for ornamental reasons only. In fact, the leaves and stems of tomatoes are poisonous (but they can be used in moderation for food flavoring).

17. Soon after building started in 1173, the foundation of the Pisa tower settled unevenly. Construction was stopped, and was continued only a 100 years later. Therefore, the leaning tower was never straight.

18. Ancient Egyptians used slabs of stones as pillows.

19. People have been wearing glasses for about 700 years.

20. King Charles the Second often rubbed dust from the mummies of pharaohs so he could “absorb their ancient greatness.

Contributor: JT



  • Vishal

    I dont believe I am the first one here. IN fact, posting my comments for the first time.

    Great list JF – I liked the one for Glasses. I am wearing them only since 25 years now.

  • miki

    great list. probably the only website i read every day. :) number 12 surprises me. i have read a book about Einstein's life but the fact about Israel was never mentioned.

  • Leah

    loved the list.
    Henry VIII was just plain odd. he married his dead brothers widow as his first wife…enough said

    Oh and i love the sound of the war between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly. Did they even know why it started by the time 1986 came around?

    • Steve

      That's not odd at all – it was extremely common for a man to marry his Brother's widow in the middle ages.

      • bionicragdoll

        As long it was proved (or widely believed) that the original marriage was never consummated. According to beliefs of the time if a man marries his brothers wife they shall have no children and Henry VIII used Katherine’s many miscarriages and still borns as proof of that (Apparently their daughter Mary didn’t count). Whether or not Katherine was a virgin when she married Henry is still debated. Phillipa Gregory wrote a novel called The Constant Princess which makes the case that she was not a virgin when she married Henry and that her original marriage was consummated. It’s a good book for anyone interested in that era.

  • warrrreagl

    I think these are my favorite lists.

  • Hehe I knew about all of these except for 3, 6, and 14 :-D

    Cool list!

    Leah: I think (not 100% sure though) that Henry VIII was obliged by political circumstances to marry his brother's widow.

  • Magnolia

    Number two is just crazy. The world lost more than it realised that day.

  • LemonKiwi

    Neat list. I like these kind of lists.

  • PirateXxEsque

    Actually, I knew the one about New Zealand. :D

  • Rusty

    "2. John F. Kennedy, Anthony Burgess, Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis all died on the same day."
    Well yeah but not in the same year – hardly an oddity given how many people die on the same day over the history of the world…
    A bit like the chance of someone having the same birthday as you at a small party.
    #1 we all know from a recent list.
    #17 hands up anyone who didn't know the Tower at Pisa always leaned?

    • jasper420

      All but Anthony Burgess died on November 22, 1963.

  • astraya

    When building on the tower of Pisa was restarted, they built the upper stories at a different angle, so the leaning tower is, in fact, bent.

  • NN

    Rusty, Kennedy, Huxley and Lewis actually really died on the same day – November 22, 1963. Although Burgess died in 1993.

  • billyrules!

    #20-i wonder if that ever made him sick.

  • Dudi

    Miki,
    In Israel, the role of the President is mostly a ceremonial one. The important guy is the Prime Minister. Einstein was offered the role mostly as an honor, so the story is more of an anecdote than something of real historic importance.

  • storm_shadow

    Awesome list! I'd heard about Charles Darwin marrying his cousin, but that was the only one. Good on William Hitler!

  • sonia

    J can you make more of these kinda lists…? i love them!!

  • Ghidoran

    Knew no.20, is that a typo in no.3(Scilly=Sicily)?

    • Steve

      No. The Isles of Scilly off the coast of the UK. Sicily is a single island, so you wouldn't say "The Isles of Sicily".

  • 9. Rusty
    “2. John F. Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis all died on the same day.” Well yeah but not in the same year …
    ****
    Yes, November 22, 1963. What do they teach you in middle school histiry these days?
    Sheeeeesh?
    Everyone over the age of 25 knows this to be valid.

    • St. Holyshi

      John F. Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis all died on November 22, 1963. Anthony Burgess died on November 22, 1993.

  • BrotherMan

    I guess I am a little bit more intelligent than I thought. I already knew number 1. The others are new to me though.

    Great list, JT! I like lists with random yet interesting facts.

  • miralea

    @ Ghidoran # 16: No it's not a typo. The Isles of Scilly are somewhere near Britain if memory serves me correctly.
    ————
    This list is a great way to start the day. I didn't know many of these.

  • zimzim

    I'm not surprised Hitler's nephew fought against him. It's common knowledge that he treated his relatives like scum. But I am suprised that he had the name William Hitler, they all had to change their last name, when Adolf came to power, probably because they were not as "Arian" as he wanted them to be.

  • Obbop

    "New Zealand was the first country to enfranchise women. It gave them the vote in 1895."

    And that country and all others emulating that stupidity have regretted that decision and paid a terrible social price ever since.

  • smurff

    #19 I find interesting I wonder how they tested your eyesight 700 years ago.
    Brilliant site keep up the good work.

  • Jimbob

    JT, Another good list. So glad that the tomato is not poisonous, as I love that fruit, er, vegetable, er, fruit used as a vegetable, er, fruit taxed as a vegetable, vegetable.

  • EricB

    Love these kinds of lists. Good and interesting stuff

  • chershey

    Might want to say Ancient Rome to differentiate it from modern-day Rome.

    • Steve

      Only an idiot would think they meant modern Rome, which is merely a city in Italy, whereas ancient Rome is an entire state.

  • GraceM

    Terrific list. Yes, please, make more of these kinds of lists. I've spent all morning travelling on Sark! It's been fun.
    #9 Rusty – as has been said before Kennedy, Huxley, and C.S. Lewis did all die on the same day. And these are not just any people. They're actually somewhat famous.

  • thewebpromoter

    Einstein really is a Jew.

  • kowzilla

    As to #3.
    I think I'll investigate the details of this "war" because right now I imagine it was approximately 400 years of "Shut up!"/"No, you shut up!"

  • Diogenes

    how could they elongate their noggins with the slabs of stones?
    Did they have two to sandwhich (as we know was invented by WHO? John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich((you dont wanna know about the 3 other mistakes we all could be eating instead today)) the noggin,binded with papyrus? Having to walk around like that musta been rough on the children, but over the years they would get used to it and grow much stronger than those elite with their puny ivory neckrests.
    So it was these "stone slab, head sandwich walkers" that would later build the pyramids…
    I knew it!

  • 5monkeys

    I wonder did Darwin have any children and is this the reason he belived in evolution,

    • johnbgood52

      Darwin had several children – all of whom were normal, by the way. Creationists love to cite this little factlet as “proof” that Darwin was some sort of pervert (therefore his theories must be wrong – the fallacy of Argumentum ad Hominem), but the fact is that marriage between first cousins wasn’t uncommon in Darwin’s day, and is still perfectly legal in many places today, including some US states.

      As for evolution, Darwin didn’t invent the idea. That life forms change over time was known as far back as ancient Greece, and educated Victorians were certainly aware of it. Darwin was merely the first to propose a scientifically testable mechanism to explain the process.

      Modern evolutionary theory, termed the “Modern Synthesis”, has advanced to the point where Darwin would barely recognize it.

  • Nelia

    I always thought that tomatoes were considered poisonous because they were very absorbent, and people used to eat them off of lead plates. Because the tomatoes were particularly adept at absorbing the lead, people would get sick. (or more obviously sick than eating off of lead plates was already making them.) I wonder if this is just a silly old wives tale that I heard when I was young and never investigated… Because it makes more sense that part of the tomato could make you sick, so all of the tomato was considered poisonous. Or maybe it was a combination of the two. *Nelia toddles off to do some googling*

  • ElenaSFA

    Number 18 sounds awesome!

    And what was the 27th amendment?

  • Anon

    5Monkeys, (30),

    "I wonder did Darwin have any children and is this the reason he belived in evolution"

    A quick check in Wikipedia would reveal that Emma bore Charles ten children, of whom two died in infancy. If the question is intended seriously, his private life would have had no effect on his theory. Why should it have? The pattern of his relationship and family was completely typical for his day, and marriage to a cousin such as Emma was not considered at all unusual or remarkable.

    Out of interest (and I've provided this answer elsewhere), a great-grandson of Darwin's, Prof. Richard Keynes, has written a biography of his illustrious forbear. Keynes was a Professor of Physiology at Cambridge University. Anyone who would care to draw any genetical conclusions from that small fact is welcome to do so.

  • Slow day of comments eh? Everyone must be out enjoying the summer!

  • middle

    marrying the widow of his dead brother was an obligation in the old times. because you dont want to make the widow go out of your family. she is in your family, and she should stay that way, by marrying to her.

    i know it sounds weird, but that is the way it worked and still works in some parts of the world even today.

  • middle

    Einstein was born as a Jew, but he is not a jew. He is jew as much as a catholic or muslim.

  • Taranis

    I didn't know tomato leaves were poisonus…().()

  • Anon

    Taranis,

    "I didn’t know tomato leaves were poisonus…().()"

    As a botanist and gardener I can tell you the potato/tomato family (Solanaceae) contains a good selection of some of the world's more lethal vegetation and fruits, including deadly nightshade and Jimson weed (Datura). Even where they don't kill, a lot can prove very nasty. Many with edible fruits or roots (tubers), such as the tomato and potato, are poisonous in their other parts. Green potatoes also contain a lot of dangerous substance but fortunately it's quite difficult to ear enough to do yourself in. Fruits of the chinese lantern (Physalis) are edible, but the *lanterns* that enclose them are poisonous, at least while still green.

  • Anon

    Jfrater, (34)

    Many will be pleased to hear I'll be lot thinner on the ground when our southern (hemisphere) summer comes around soon.

  • ohrmets

    jfrater,

    Good list, as usual. I will just point out that New Zealand wasn't technically an independent country in 1895, but still a colony. But I know you're a Kiwi, so I'm sure you know the actual status better than I do.

    Therefore, it's also interesting to note that Wyoming was the very first place to grant women the vote in 1869, albeit only as a US state. Of course the rest of the US wouldn't catch up until 1920.

    But perhaps more significant is the fact that Jeannette Rankin of Wyoming became the first woman elected to a national legislature in 1916! She would later become famous for voting against US entry into both World War I and World War II. In the case of WWII, she was the only member of Congress to vote against entering the war.

  • Vivii

    Nice list, I only knew about #1. Although #11 rings a bell somewhere in the back of my mind.

  • Chip

    Segue–

    as mentioned above your post, Anthony Burgess died in 1993, not 1963. Sheesh, everyone over the age of 25 knows that.

  • #17. segue
    9. Rusty
    “2. John F. Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis all died on the same day.” Well yeah but not in the same year …
    ****
    Yes, November 22, 1963. What do they teach you in middle school histiry these days?
    Sheeeeesh?
    Everyone over the age of 25 knows this to be valid.
    **
    #42. Chip
    Segue–
    as mentioned above your post, Anthony Burgess died in 1993, not 1963. Sheesh, everyone over the age of 25 knows that.
    ****
    I guess you didn't notice I *EXCLUDED* Anthony Burgess from those who died in 1963.
    I don't mind being reminded when I'm wrong, but when I'm right, it's just an annoyance.

  • sdggrant

    @ Number 3

    In those days marrying your dead siblings wife was not an uncommon thing. It was seen as the decent thing to do, especially in the cases of royal marriages where the marriage was purely for political reasons.

  • Cdavis

    They taught me how to SPELL history in middle school. Don't be rude.

  • sanasunshine.

    anon,
    not to sound like a total dork.
    but wasn't deadly nightshade used a lot by sally in the nightmare before christmas?
    i thought it would be something more menacing then a tomato stem,
    but that's pretty cool.
    :].

  • MPW

    Interesting and fun list.

  • Vera Lynn

    Anon (38) Ear? Not like you to make this mistake. :)

  • Vera Lynn

    Would tomato stems and leaves just make you sick, or could it be fatal? That's weird.

    HM ;)

  • MPW

    Vera Lynn(49) only one way to find out *eats a tomato stem* :)

    Hi btw

  • Vera Lynn

    MPW (50) That's not funny! You put that down right now!! :)

  • Henry VIII first married his dead brother's widow. Then he spent alot of time studying to find some religious point so he could get the marrage annuled. He then married Anne Bolelyn. He accused her of incest and had her beheaded to everyone's surprise. The married Jane Parker before Anne's blood was dry. Jane died shortly after. He then married some chick that I can't remember her name. Got a divorce from her because he was forced into that marriage and didn't like her in the first place. Then he married Katheryn Howard (Anne Boleyn's cousin) Had her beheaded. Then he married another chick and this time he died. So divorced 2, killed 2, one died naturally and one out lived him.

    • Gemma

      devorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived
      the rhyme we are taught in england at school to remember the order.
      technically its not an annulment if you cut off your wife's head
      her name was jane seymour not jane parker lol (not a very medieval name).

    • Sempre Eadem

      Thank you! Someone else whom realized how wrong that fact was! And it was Anne of Cleves for the second divorce. And Jane Seymour who died in child birth. Katherine Parr survived him.

  • Anon

    And I've just let a fair bit of a possible list out of the bag!!!!

  • Anon

    (50), (51 for information),

    Hang on, I've got the antidote … somewhere. Now where the hell did I put it …? Hey just hang on in there a bit longer, I'll find it soon, promise. Oh, damn, forgotten what it was too. Keep breathing, 'fraid I'll have to look it up …

  • Anon

    (52),

    Good job nobody told fat Henry (nothing to do with the plant fat hen) about deadly nightshade then.

  • Vera Lynn

    Anon (53) I should have said "earor" (error) instead of mistake. I knew you knew. Just bustin' your chops. ;)

  • Anon

    Oh, God. I fell for it … yet again

    Hubris

    Good pun to punish me with though.

  • Vera Lynn

    Anon (58) You are too much. So glad you are back. I don't often get a chance to "get" you. Today was my day. Now for the next 50 years….

    And I read this twice to make sure I didn't have "earors." ;)

  • Anon,

    I had forgotten Datura (I've always called it Devil's Trumpet) was part of the Solanaceae family. Tobacco, mandrake, deadly nightshade, capsicum, tomato, eggplant, and potato (but not sweet potato) I remembered. There were rows of them growing down a street I once lived in; it surprised me that the council didn't have them removed.

    Poisoning by eating green potatoes is meant to be pretty rare but my mother accidentally managed to do it. She didn't kill anyone, just induced a lot of vomiting :-D

    Does anyone else remember the part of Louisa Alcott's Little Women where the girls put belladonna in their eyes? Freaky.

    My brother and I, when we were very little, once collected a container full of deadly nightshade berries (there were lots near where we lived along with the blackberry bushes) and proudly showed them to our mother. We soon found out the reason why she questioned us so insistently about whether we'd eaten any :-D (we hadn't)

  • I meant to say 'rows of Datura…", silly me.

  • jazjsmom

    I love these types of lists, history is fascinating to me, so please keep them coming. I can't wait for the next installment.

  • I45 Start

    Is #9 like saying that Dr. Evil's father invented the question mark

  • Leah

    to #5. Tempyra
    yeah i know he married his breothers widow so that spain and england could stay allies to one another because of how tense things were. and i know this was common in marriages in those days especially royal ones
    regardless of that i still find it creepy

    as to the war between netherelands and isles of scilly i can't help but think of two little kids in a room with backs turned to one another refusing to speak for reasons unknown to all for about 400 years

  • Leah

    i know there's a few typos in message i left just before.
    my apologies i know how irritating it is to read spelling mistakes

  • Anon

    Vera (48),

    I spotted it immediately but was just too … how shall I put it? … lazy? for want of a better word, to straighten up the text. What do they say? Ah, yes. Even Homer nods. That’s it. And with all the olympics, boy, have I been nodding. Well. One more night. Perhaps I should have put *eye*, not *ear* (see below).

    Almost anything in existence, even water, will kill you, given a fatal dose. Of course it simply isn’t physically possible to fill yourself up with enough of most things to be killed. Obviously, water would drown you before it poisoned! The reverse is virtually true. A small enough quantity of most dangerous substances can actually be beneificial. But with some the amount to top you isn’t very large in the first place. I don’t know what the score for Fried Tomato Greens might be, but imagine you’d probably need to scoff a fair portion to topple off your perch. Almost certainly a sublethal dose would hardly leave you feeling a happy bunny though. (On which note, I shan’t be sorry if the rogue hare that’s feeding off our choice garden plants from time to time takes a good bellyful when they start to grow a bit IDC.)

    sanasunshine, (46),

    Talking of dorksville, I have to confess on our having missed out on ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ as yet. I see it gets a terrific rating, so we’ll try to patch the hole when the opportunity arises. Nightmare and nightshade do make a pretty word-coupling though. Whatever Sally the rag doll did with it, Atropa belladonna is indeed a deadly killer. I’ve only ever seen it growing naturally and quite rarely on chalk downland, but we were warned and all knew about it as kids when blackberrying. The fruits are identically coloured. It terrified me at the time, because no one explained the difference! In fact they are not similar in shape at all. Blackberries, as you know, are made up of a lot of little round *droplets* fused together, whereas DN is just one single quite big berry, like a small cherry.

    Now for the belladonna (‘beautiful lady’) bit of it’s name. Like Euphrasia (eyebright), a tincture is applied or dropped into the eyes for cosmetic or medicinal purposes. This is derived from leaves in the case of eyebright, and from the poisonous berries of the DN, when it dilates the pupils, so making them more appealing. In his wonderful book ‘Flora Britannica’, Mabey records that these hyoscyamic alkaloids overstimulate the heart rate so much that the beats can often be heard several feet away! He tells us that as few as three DN berries have been known to kill a child. So take that!, as they say.

    By the way, henbane (Hyoscyamus) is another common member of the tomato family with unfriendly tendancies. It is notorious as the poison having been used by the infamous Dr Crippen to murder his wife in 1910 (source, Mabey). Incidentally, Crippen tried to escape by transatlantic liner, but was captured by means of one of the first telegraphic shore-to-ship messages

    So now you have the ear-eye connection, Vera.

  • Princess_Betty

    As a Manx Politics student, I have to argue my case for number 10:

    "The world's oldest continuous Parliament is a title claimed by the Tynwald in the Isle of Man, which dates back to 979. The Isle of Man has had quasi-autonomous government through its recorded history, from its various norminal rulers or protectors (Vikings, Northumbrians, Scotland, England, earls of Orkney, Britain, etc.)."

    The Isle of Man was the first country in the world to introduce votes for women, in 1881. It was also one of the first to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote, as I myself voted in the 2006 local elections at the age of 16!

  • I couldn't possibly marry *any* of my husband's brothers. They just don't do it for me, yet for both my husband and myself, we *knew* immediately upon meeting that we had met our true love.

  • Anon

    Vera, (59)

    Even better. Had anyone else made that *correction* I should simply have ignored it. Haughtily.

    Tempyra, (60)

    I'd better hold back here on cat-letting out of bags, as I really do have a partially formulated list on dangerous plants up my sleeve. But just to say that many common or (literally) garden plants are very evil indeed. Just to stir hot tea with a small green. leafy twig of one has been enough to kill a full-grown (ex-)healthy adult male!

    Sounds like Lady Luck was holding your little hands when you found those scads of nightshade berries. I'm sure our wild gang of short-trousered daredevils couldn't have resisted them. In my opinion it's almost criminally irresponsible of authorities not to teach about and display posters in schools from the earliest ages upwards of any dangerous plant (or fungus the bogeyman) that grows wild or in gardens of the local region.

  • Anon,

    Ooooh… I look forward to your next list :-)

    About educating children on plants – I think parents and teachers mostly just tell children don't eat ANYTHING they find growing. My parents let us roam all over the farm when we were older than at the time of the deadly nightshade incident and a bit wiser. I don't remember if they made any rules about what to eat and not eat but I think they just generally instilled a bit of common sense into us :-D

    Nevertheless I tried lots of interesting looking berries and fruits – snowberries (Gaultheria I think) are yummy, olives straight off the tree are not, taraire berries aren't good either – and competed with the kereru for the loquats. I'm still alive though :lol:

  • DoppHopper

    I remember reading that Charles Darwin was a christian and it hurt him bad to publish his theory in "Origin of Species" as it was of course contrary to his religion. I get angry whenever a christian gives Darwin a hard time, he gave him self a hard enough time. At some stage, he dropped christianity and became agnostic.
    Theory of natural selection aside, he was a good man and continued to contribute to his church even after his parting with his faith.

    It's funny to think that the opposing schools of thought, creationism and Darwinism were both generated by Christians.

  • Cambrex101

    Middle: If you are born a Jew, you are always a Jew.
    Do you mean that Einstein was a Secular Jew?
    You don't need to be religious to be Jewish.

  • DoppHopper

    Cambrex101:

    How does that work? If Jewry isnt a religion then what is it? If what you say is true then "Jew" is a useless term

  • Shlufi

    @DoppHopper

    Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people, I don't want to get into the pseudoscience Nazi bullshit, but if you're born a Jew you're a Jew, much like if you're born in Ireland you're Irish, or if you're born in Italy you're Italian. It's something you can't denounce, although you can reject the religion.

    • Steve

      My Aunt was born in Libya but is British. Being born somewhere does not make you that nationality.

  • DoppHopper

    Shlufi:

    That's fairly pointless. I was born to a pair of christians and was myself a christian but have rejected the religion.

    I am not a chrisitian.

    So what does it mean to be jewish?

  • kris

    there I go…with few more lessons for today… i think I would ask my elder brother to print them…

    Wonderful list… I should tell my dad that he doesnt have to worry about me if I can't go school…

  • hmm interesting

  • #72. DoppHopper
    How does that work? If Jewry isnt a religion then what is it?
    ****
    Jewish is first an ethnic term, like Italian, Irish, Polish, Welsh, etc.
    Jewish also refers to the faith of the majority of the ethnic Jewish people.
    You don't have to be an ethnic Jew to be a member of the Jewish faith. Sammy Davis jr., for example, was a famous convert.
    So there, it's really simple.

  • Anon

    Everybody,

    To amplify what segue has just written. You can be an American Jew, a British Jew, a German Jew, a Russian Jew or an Irish Stew (not my original, it came from some wonderful Jewish comedian or other). Its like being an Afro-American.
    If you happen to have been born in Israel, you'll be an Israeli Jew, but there are also Israeli Arabs.

    Over and above these national or cultural identities are the broader racial definitions which we often hesitate to spell out as they have become so polluted by vile pseudo-supremacists whose own intelligences fail any standard Darwinian criteria.

    Religions have nothing to do with ethnic origins other than usually having originated (Judaism), or predominating (Christianity) in one or other, and therefore being identified with that one. Moslems are not necessarily Arabs, and Arabs are not necessarily moslems.

    Are we all clear now?

  • Anon

    DoppHopper, (70),

    "I remember reading that Charles Darwin was a christian and it hurt him bad to publish his theory in “Origin of Species” as it was of course contrary to his religion. I get angry whenever a christian gives Darwin a hard time, he gave him self a hard enough time. At some stage, he dropped christianity and became agnostic.
    Theory of natural selection aside, he was a good man and continued to contribute to his church even after his parting with his faith.

    It’s funny to think that the opposing schools of thought, creationism and Darwinism were both generated by Christians."

    Most strands of Christianity nowadays accept evolution, although for my money there remain serious conflicts of consequence. Darwin perceived these conflicts and his intellectual honesty obliged him to admit that they were irreconcilable in his own eyes. He accepted that fact sadly but philosophically. We should also bear in mind that at that stage in history the scientific study of nature was almost exclusively the realm of the *career* religious. Huxley and Darwin were rare exceptions. Most of their peers tended to be bishops and revs. Darwin was also bitterly opposed by his Christian friend FitzRoy, captain of the Beagle, for example. Even so, we should remember that Darwin started out as a believer and was also publicly timid, not a fierce anti-religious militant like Huxley. He was terrified of the reaction to his theory, and anticipated accurately how it would be received by the Establishment. He was fortunate to have Huxley as advocate and partner, though I fancy the great and fearless Alfred Russel Wallace would have served him as well.

    The extreme pain for Darwin was his beloved Emma's fervent Christian faith. He simply did not know how to cope with or face this situation and took the only step that he (and anybody sensitive in the same situation then or since) could. He tried to avoid bringing it up.

  • 78. Anon
    To amplify what segue has just written…
    ****
    Thank you for making it even more clear. Sometimes my attempts at brevity leaves holes which require filling.
    You are, as always, a gentleman and a scholar.

  • Anon

    segue,

    Thank you for appreciating that I was trying to add my voice to yours rather than overriding you. I cringe if there was even a hint of that kind of bullying.

  • #81. Anon
    segue,Thank you for appreciating that I was trying to add my voice to yours rather than overriding you. I cringe if there was even a hint of that kind of bullying.
    ****
    It was quite clear, and having been been badly bullied by my mum all my growing up, I am very quick to notice it when it does exist.

  • Chip

    I apologize segue, it seem that your smug sense of self satisfaction remains undaunted.

  • kiwiboi

    It’s funny to think that the opposing schools of thought, creationism and Darwinism were both generated by Christians.

    On this theme…Georges Lemaitre, the scientist who first propounded the Big Bang theory, was a Catholic priest (he, incidentally, was – and remained – highly esteemed by the Vatican).

  • Anon

    kiwiboi, (84),

    I seem to recall reading somewhere, perhaps even as a LV comment, that the Vatican considers the Big Bang fits the concept of Creation quite neatly. Interesting. I understand that at that point all matter (energy?) is considered to be contracted to about the size of an orange. So Adam and Eve must have been VERY intimate indeed in those opening moments!

  • kiwiboi

    About educating children on plants – I think parents and teachers mostly just tell children don’t eat ANYTHING they find growing.

    Tempyra – I worked for a short time in a plant nursery in Wellington many years ago. My boss was a qualified nurseryman who grew up on a farm in Te Awamutu. He was also a keen tramper, and used to say that if you are lost in the bush you should get almost enough sustenance to survive from berries alone – but he cautioned that one should only eat those that the birds will eat.

    I'm not sure if his advice was accurate or not, as I never had cause to find out the hard way…

  • sgvaibhav

    Rocks

  • Anon

    kiwiboi, (86),

    I'll answer that one in detail in the list I'm preparing. The short general answer though is no. Humans cannot rely on eating anything that animals and birds do. We might be killed by their mid-morning snack. They could also be killed by ours.

    Tempyra, (69),

    Gautheria (syn Pernettya) berries are really tasty. We have them down south and in the moister high Andes. We often eat them when down in Patagonia. Berberis and white Ephedra fruits are great there too. The latter are really sweet. We only eat what's known to be safe though. To let someone else die trying food out may be cowardly, but it's wise!

  • kiwiboi

    I seem to recall reading somewhere, perhaps even as a LV comment, that the Vatican considers the Big Bang fits the concept of Creation quite neatly.

    Anon – I'm sure it does. Actually, there does appear to be somewhat of an ongoing irony in all of this; even in your own sphere of interest, you don't need me to remind you that Mendel was also a Catholic priest….and there are other, similar, examples.

    As a general point, the sheer intellect of some believers has always intrigued me (a notable example being Jesuit priests); and the fact that such individuals have faith surely can't just be put down to being "brainwashed" from infancy – there are notable individuals who, having intellectualised religion, have coverted to the faith. (Note that, as one who was raised/educated a RC, this is where the scope of my first-hand experience lies; the same applies, no doubt, to other religions/faiths).

  • kiwiboi: I think that would be generally accurate. There are other things you can eat that the birds don't (especially in non-native forests like pine plantations) – supplejack shoots are quite tasty, so are five-finger stems (they taste like a combo of carrot and celery). The main thing to watch out for would be fungi, 'cos they're so easy to get mixed up.

  • kiwiboi

    kiwiboi, (86), I’ll answer that one in detail in the list I’m preparing. The short general answer though is no. Humans cannot rely on eating anything that animals and birds do.

    Anon – Thanks. And I greatly look forward to your list!

  • kiwiboi

    The main thing to watch out for would be fungi, ‘cos they’re so easy to get mixed up.

    Tempyra – good thing most fungi are so ugly! I can only shudder when I think back on some of the things we ate as kids spending much of our childhoods in the bush surrounding the valley we lived in.

  • Anon/kiwiboi:

    I wandered away from the PC as I wrote my last comment, which would have appeared after kiwiboi's 86 if I didn't get distracted. I mistook birds (general) for birds (kereru/wood pigeon) and didn't specify in my reply that what I meant was that mostly people can eat what kereru do.

    I've never tried eating fungi from the wild – they look unattractive and it's hard to tell which is which.

    Kiwiboi – did you ever try monkey apple berries (Acmena smithii)?

  • kiwiboi

    Tempyra – monkey apple berries? Heh..is that what they are called? Whilst I certainly remember them (I googled a coupla images) I can't say for certain whether we ate them.

    Personally, I wasn't big on berries after a friend of one of my brothers ate some enticing red berries one day, started feeling a little ill, and was taken to hospital to have her stomach pumped (we would have been, maybe 10/11 yrs old). After that, we – as a group – were a little more circumspect with regard to our culinary preferences for berries…though we always dared "new" kids to eat a few :)

    Ever tasted "charcoal-grilled" Waxeye? Or Cicada "blood"? ;)

  • kiwiboi: I think some people call them lilly pilly berries too. They don't taste particularly good – much better for filling up people's gutters with.

    "Ever tasted “charcoal-grilled” Waxeye? Or Cicada “blood”? ;)"

    Do you mean that literally?? My cats used to love cicadas and they'd bring in lil waxeyes when the red hot poker flowers were in season but I'd never eat them myself! Eww…

  • kiwiboi

    Tempyra – we "roasted" Waxeyes once in a while (only tried to eat them once, if I recall) after catching them in homemade box traps. The cicada thing was a dare; my advice…don't try it (I can retch at the thought of it even today). We used to catch cicadas by the hundreds and fill big jam jars with them.

    And, boy, did we have fun with those revolting "sulphur seeds" that we'd take to school, smash open, and then spit on to make the most god-awful stink in the classroom!! :)

  • kiwiboi: How barbaric :-P . I think the waxeyes are far too cute to trap! The cicadas are fair game though.

    In my pre-vegetarian days I was generally willing to eat most of the things we hunted or caught though. Barbequed eel (gross), wild pig roasted over the fire using a stick for a spit (overcooked and tough), curried rabbit (edible), tuatuas/pipis/cockles/oyters etc are ok raw or cooked over the fire and turkey fried over the fire in butter isn't bad when you're starving (I was). Possum was probably the best, surprisingly.

    Probably a good thing I have no idea what these 'sulphur seeds' you mention are…

  • Anon

    kiwiboi and Tempyra, (89-97),

    I'll probably join in later. Just out of bed shamefully late after a very hard, long day's night at the keyboard (mixed LV and work). I need my breakfast and sustaining medicaments. Also there's been a new challenge to action (i.e. negation of our personal experiences) elsewhere on LV. I need to check out no booby traps have exploded there during my slumber. (What's new? When will I simply be left in peace just to read, enjoy and perhaps sometimes answer fun, constructive, positive friendly comments like your last series here?)

  • #83. Chip
    I apologize segue, it seem that your smug sense of self satisfaction remains undaunted.
    ****
    Hmmmmmmmmmm, haven't been around too long, have you?

  • Anon

    segue, (99),

    Those of us who know you well through LV might be inclined to alter that to: "HAVE been around TOO long already".

    Well, one quickly learns being here is as a good a way of making enemies as friends. Something about heat and kitchens applies, I guess.

  • 100. Anon
    segue, (99),
    Those of us who know you well through LV might be inclined to alter that to: “HAVE been around TOO long already”.
    ****
    lol lol lol, she laughed, with smug self-satisfaction.

  • Brickhouse

    King Charles the Second often rubbed dust from the mummies of pharaohs so he could “absorb their ancient greatness.

    Rubbed dust – on himself? His hands? In his nose? I'm just curious. :)

  • Vera Lynn

    segue and Anon (99-101) You 2 are too funny. I knew you would like each other. I hate to keep bringing it up, but together you are an Army. And I mean that with respect and admiration. You have a wonderful personal banter. And a united front.

    What should you do when no one has your back?
    Move your back.

  • 103. Vera Lynn
    segue and Anon (99-101) You 2 are too funny…together you are an Army.
    ****
    Thank you, Vera. Sometimes people just 'click'.

  • Polly Odyssey

    "Absorb their ancient greatness…"

    I say stuff like that all the time. XD Strange.

  • I just watched something a few days ago on the history channel about Hitler and his family. It mentioned his nephew moving and fighting against him and info on the decendents up 'til present day.

  • 07. Anon…By the way, I’m talking of a anthropocentric God here. Not one single aetheistic scientist can do more than speculate as to whether or not God existed. I decided thart

  • 07. Anon…By the way, I’m talking of a anthropocentric God here. Not one single aetheistic scientist can do more than speculate as to whether or not God existed. I decided thart“ee—————————————————————————————————————————

  • CRSN

    Great List JT, keep 'em coming! :)

  • Anon

    kiwiboi, (89),

    “As a general point, the sheer intellect of some believers has always intrigued me (a notable example being Jesuit priests); and the fact that such individuals have faith surely can’t just be put down to being “brainwashed” from infancy – there are notable individuals who, having intellectualised religion, have coverted to the faith. (Note that, as one who was raised/educated a RC, this is where the scope of my first-hand experience lies; the same applies, no doubt, to other religions/faiths).

    Absolutely. There is much to exercise thought.

    I’ve already posted somewhere here, I think, about a case I have vaguely focussed at the back of my mind. (I hope not to you already!) It’s undoubtedly true, I read it in an unimpeachable source, but can’t say more than that. In a Central American nation, Mexico comes most to mind, Jesuit colleges decided to strengthen the faith of neophytes by splitting off some of their number and getting them to act as aetheistic or agnostic Devil’s advocates. The advocates were so successful in their skill and enthusiasm (too successful), that the scheme had to be dropped like a hot potato.

    It has always struck me that there are minute but critical inconsequences between religious belief and what the majority of believers accept from our analysis of observable phenomena in the material world: most notably evolution, of course. Or rather that aspect of it some find more comfortable to hive off as macro-evolution. It always rather reminds me of my large and difficult childhood jigsaw puzzles where I had a mass of free blue sky pieces and a single gap. There were pieces that looked to fit perfectly, and you could place them and even force them into position, but you knew they weren’t the correct piece. I’ve never wished to *intellectually bully* or upset my several religious friends, and have never found myself in the position to confront a religious scholar with these points. Pity. I’d love to have the answer of some of those individuals with the high mental quality you note. For my money, the fundamental discrepancies I’m thinking of cannot conceivably have rational answers. I’ve considered absolutely every angle. Ultimately several just have to boil down to metaphysics, sheer belief. “God knows,” or “We,ll find out in God’s good time”.

    I think, too, we should be very careful in extrapolating the extreme or even supreme ability and intelligence of any individual in one particular sphere and presuming it to apply for others. Time and again the most amazing dissonances have been clearly revealed. Great scientists who belong to the most looney sects, for us all to see. Conan Doyle being fooled by fake pictures of fairies. The list is probably teen and legion. In fact it might make an interesting topic for LV!

    What is also interesting is how beliefs are, almost without exception, so culturally centred, and often so mutually exclusive. I find it hilarious how the protestant friends I left behind in England are clearly but terribly discreetly anxious to save my soul from its high Chilean risk of the Pope and the Vatican, and if possible to draw Anita into their comfortable fold as well!

    By the way, I’m talking of a anthropocentric God here. Not one single aetheistic scientist can do more than speculate as to whether our presence here is a cosmic accidental joke (ditto the cosmos itself) out of absolutely zilch, or if all is united as some form of universal and obligatory interactive *intelligence*. How anyone with the least perception would opt for the first over the second is foreign to me, but then I’m perfectly aware my position is equally foreign to many I know.

    Apropos, you now know, I imagine, that I’m also that rogue Charlton supporter you knew as Spanner. There was no reason to fool or hold out on friends here, by the way, and I hope that hasn’t been an unwanted result.

    Speaking of results, it’s early days yet, but we both seem to have made an encouraging start. My Arsenal friend will no doubt be in sackcloth and ashes, thanks to you. The time to cheer, sigh with relief or weep though will come when there are only as many matches remaining as have so far gone!

  • Eggs

    Nelia is right in comment #31

  • Anon

    Eggs, (111) and Nelia (31),

    Thank you. I didn't know that. In fact I believe it may be a far from a unique case of what might be called *secondary poisoning* of this type, although I can't name other specific cases (perhaps more the realm of culinary geeks?).

  • Anon

    segue,

    "07. Anon…By the way, I’m talking of a anthropocentric God here. Not one single aetheistic scientist can do more than speculate as to whether or not God existed. I decided thart"

    Seems like you may have had some trouble posting here. So I don't know whether I'm anticipating your intention correctly by the following. I can only hope so:

    If I say I saw pigs flying past my window today, no one could actually PROVE that I didn't. If I said I believed pigs can fly somewhere, somehow, no one can deny me that belief by actual proof. It's impossible to disprovea belief by ordinary scientific means. The standard for proof or disproval is that a relevant experiment should be capable of repetition and in front of reliable neutral witnesses. The corollary is that it must always be open to being proven wrong by later empirical work. So even if science could prove empirically that God existed, He would still only exist for as long as science could not come up with a better proof that He didn't exist! Well, He asked for it. He didn't have to allow scientists into the scheme of things in the first place.

    Where there can be no direct experimental evidence, what science does, in much the same way as does the law, is to take what is generally regarded as existing and reasonable circumstantial evidence. Otherwise the scientific attitude to non-provable assertions in the world would be absurdly non-committal. Or alternatively, if the belief is apparently absurd beyond consideration, the onus will correctly be placed on the claimant to prove beyond doubt. E.g., I should be expected to provide irrefutable evidence of flying pigs.

    Therefore, my point was not that my aetheistic scientist could not disprove the *existance* of an anthropocentric God. Of course not. But that such a belief is already dismissed from the reckoning of any aetheist, as per my flying pigs, and so the only basic conventional alternatives in the choice were the two I presented.

  • Anon

    Sorry *existence*. I'm in a hurry, but picked that one up.

    I'd just add what must be fairly evident. When science is obliged to resort to circumstantial evidence, that inevitably results in opinions and differences of opinion. Therefore there are scientists who believe in God (anthropocentric) and others, perhaps their partners in projects, who don't. There is nothing at all inconsistent in this, much though fundamentalists would wish to have it so.

  • 113. Anon …thank you for understanding there was a problem, and what the question would have been.

  • Christine

    Obviously the stems and leaves of tomato plants aren't poisonous enough… A tomato worm almost ate my whole darn plant. It was growing so well before the worm munched on all the leaves, parts of the stems, and most of the tomatoes!

  • Anon

    Christine, (116),

    It gets worse. Insect larvae which can eat and tolerate plant toxins usually absorb them into their own systems and become poisonous, both as larvae and adults, to at least most would-be predators. Famous examples are the milkweed and longwing or heliconia butterflies. These announce their inedibility by bright warning patterns. Other tasty butterflies copy this patterning almost exactly and so also avoid getting eaten, a stratgy known as Batesian mimicry.
    If two creatures look just about alike and both taste horrible, this is known as Müllerian mimicry.

  • Anon

    Tempyra and kiwiboi, (90-97),

    It's fun hearing about completely different environments and their edibles. We had a guy on the Tv who did a whole series of how to live off the land in Britain. Everything you could eat and how to gather or catch it, prepare it, and so on. He issued a book too, I think. It was done as a series of habitats (river, seashore, woodland, etc.). I imagine the dodgy and dangerous stuff was pointed out. In England you'd be careful of anything wild in celery line: you might end up (literally) with hemlock. Greek philosophers can stick with that one.

    Many fungi are truly delicious. I must have tried somewhere between 1-2 dozen wild species between Britain and Turkey inclusive. One from the latter tasted not unlike lobster. In fact there aren't that many lethal ones, but those that are can be truly lethal. I actually find many fungi attractive in their way, and not just the red, white-spotted one's ger-nomes sit on either.

    Acmena … Ah, Myrtaceae. Fruits of that family are often acceptable good to eat, including here in Chile. I once ran off a list of the plant families that provide us with food. The total number is truly staggering.

    kiwiboi. Those red berries could well have been some Solanum or other. Bad news. Don't know whether you have any native to N.Z. Anyway they otherwise might probably have come in with one of those many idiotic early British settlers who wanted to create a *new England* down to every last weed and pest.

    "And, boy, did we have fun with those revolting “sulphur seeds” that we’d take to school, smash open, and then spit on to make the most god-awful stink in the classroom!!"

    Chileans have a street tree with berries that stink when trodden on. They call them 'German farts' (their name not mine!).

    Sounds like the possum has found its potential culinary niche.

    We find cicadas engaging beasts except for the terrible non-stop screech. There are several species here from the Atacama desert to the monkey-puzzles in the south. Never tried eating insects. Witchety grubs, anyone?

  • Vera Lynn

    The cicadas here are going a mile a minute. Hate 'em.

    German farts. Classic.

  • littlemissrock

    Einstein would have been a poor politician, thank god he declined.

  • Hehe oh I forgot to mention I've tried Witchety grubs too (we call them huhu grubs). Not recommended :-D

  • astraya

    Botany is a subject that has completely passed me by. I didn't study it at high school and I've got too much else on my self-education list to attempt it. I love taking photos of flowers. When I post them on my blog, a friend from Australia, who taught himself wildflower identification during long bushwalks, always emails: "Is that a [long botanical name] or a [long botanical name]?". I can tell a rose from a daffodil on a good day. (I'm actually slightly better than that.)
    In Australia in the late ?80s there was a tv program called "Bush Tucker Man". An officer in the Australian Army had had an interest in this anyway, but was asked by the army to compile a guide for its soldiers if they were ever stuck in the Aussie outback with no food. The national broadcaster took up the idea and invited him to make (?a/several) series about this.
    Once he went to the place where Burke and Wills (two famous and ill-fated early Australian explorers) and their team died (of starvation and thrist). He looked around and said "I could cook you a three-course dinner in about half an hour".
    When one of my brothers-in-law was in the army, he went away for a week's exercise. Owing to a miscalculation, they ran out of food apart from tinned mushrooms. My sister said that he still won't eat tinned mushrooms.

    Vera Lynn: My grandparents' backyard had cicadas. One sound and it's instant childhood again. There were also birds that made a soft cooing sound, possibly doves.

  • kiwiboi

    The advocates were so successful in their skill and enthusiasm (too successful), that the scheme had to be dropped like a hot potato.

    Anon – I don't doubt you…though, such many stories do have a tendency to be apocryphal.

    I’ve never wished to *intellectually bully* or upset my several religious friends, and have never found myself in the position to confront a religious scholar with these points. Pity. I’d love to have the answer of some of those individuals with the high mental quality you note.

    I recall the great Richard Feynman relating once how he entered into a friendly debate with a group of Jewish scholars. Despite his use of unimpeachable logic and brutal common sense, Feynman was astonished to learn that these guys had an instant and "credible" comeback to all of the points he was making – then he realised that there was no point he could make to them that hadn't already been made – and the "answers" carefully documented – for countless generations.

    For my money, the fundamental discrepancies I’m thinking of cannot conceivably have rational answers.

    Perversely, a claim along similar lines could be made for some aspects of pure science; paraphrasing the scientific genius Feynman once again (he is, as you will have guessed by now, one of my "heroes"), much of the world of quantuum physics is both unintuitive and seemingly irrational.

    In any case, our minds/brains are not blessed with unlimited capacity for rational thought. I sometimes wonder, too, if being "rational" to the human mind necessarily makes something a universal truth?

    Speaking of results, it’s early days yet, but we both seem to have made an encouraging start. My Arsenal friend will no doubt be in sackcloth and ashes, thanks to you.

    Indeed; I was, of course at Craven Cottage to witness this magnificent feat, which is made all the more sweeter given that many of my colleagues at work are ardent gooners! The boot is (albeit temporarily) on the other foot for once.

    As for Charlton…they are a little like Fulham in a way, being still a "local", family-oriented club that nobody can really take too much offence at. And 2 wins out of 3 is a great start…

    Good luck for the rest of the season.

  • kiwiboi

    Apropos, you now know, I imagine, that I’m also that rogue Charlton supporter you knew as Spanner.

    Anon – sorry…I neglected to respond to this in my last comment. Actually, I recognised a number of "Spanner-isms" (turn of phrase mainly) even amongst the very first postings you made using your current alter ego. I didn't enquire at the time, however, because there is no law against it, no harm done, and I thought you would have your reasons. The game was clearly up, of course, when your comments mentioned Chile or botany :)

    There was no reason to fool or hold out on friends here, by the way, and I hope that hasn’t been an unwanted result.

    Of course not. Think nothing of it.

  • kiwiboi

    We had a guy on the Tv who did a whole series of how to live off the land in Britain.

    Anon – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall perhaps? He did a tv show along these lines if memory serves (he's a particularly engaging and entertaining chap).

    kiwiboi. Those red berries could well have been some Solanum or other.

    You might well be right. I googled an image of Solanum and the red berries are certainly as I remember them. The yellow ones are familiar also.

    Chileans have a street tree with berries that stink when trodden on. They call them ‘German farts’ (their name not mine!).

    I wish I could remember the name of the plant. The "stinkbombs" I refer to were a deep brown colour with a very hard shell, resembling an apple seed but perhaps 2 or 3 times the size and yellow-ish on the inside; they were in hard, dry, deep brown coloured pods. But your name sure fits. The smell is possibly best described as being like hydrogen sulphide.

  • Anon

    kiwiboi,

    Thanks for your interesting responses. A number of philosophical and practical points to consider picking up on, but I'm short of time right now. I'll try to get back later on or within the next day or so. Famous last words!

  • katrina

    Re : "13. New Zealand was the first country to enfranchise women. It gave them the vote in 1895." New Zealand women actually got the vote in 1893 :-)

  • Anon

    Cedestra, (128),

    Welcome to the club

  • Cham

    127. katrina – August 29th, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Re : “13. New Zealand was the first country to enfranchise women. It gave them the vote in 1895.” New Zealand women actually got the vote in 1893

    I was just about to say that :)

    good list though!

  • GTT

    Anon- y

    You just made me very curious about those "fundamental discrepancies" you mentioned in 107? I am a RC (though not the hard-core, Bible-carrying type) and I have managed to reconcile logic with religion. Some things are never logically/rationally explained (you will never actually SEE the figure of God) but you will feel them. People who miraculously survive when science has given up, the inner peace that comes with prayer when you are going through hard times, etc.

    Sorry, I hope that didnt come across as preachy, just curious as to what your doubts were… :)

  • XC

    "8. Technically, Henry VIII had only two wives. Four of his marriages were annulled."

    Just because they were annulled doesn't mean they weren't his wife at some point. He wasn't married to Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr at the same time either, so it wasn't like he had "two wives" anyways.
    I love these lists, and the site, but they should really be read carefully and double/triple checked for accuracy before they get posted :P

  • Matt42

    "1. Charles Darwin married his first cousin."

    So what? Edgar A. Poe married his cousin – she was only 13 at the time.

    And they were both born in 1809. One was born in January, the other in February.

  • josh

    Darwin and Lincoln were born on the same day.

  • soph

    New Zealand gave women the vote in 1893, not 1895.

  • kiwigal

    Obbop, firstly it seems as though your a bit of an idiot probably a virgin. Secondly, segue as someone as already mentioned, learn how to spell words correctly before you point the finger, what an idoit.

  • markmbha

    ALWAYS AMAZING!

  • Ackmed teh idiot

    Nice list!

  • Jacky Caesar

    Most people in the Antipodes, (that's Australia & New Zealand) know that NZ was the first place in the world to give women the vote. Australia followed very quickly behind. Hardly an historical fact that nobody knows?

  • CaptainCourgette

    ''Charles Darwin married his first cousin''

    Ooh, how odd!

    Silly Americans…

  • CaptainCourgette

    "Henry VIII was just plain odd. he married his dead brothers widow as his first wife…enough said"

    Again, how is that odd? His brother died and he married the wife of his brother, who was not married to Arthur for very long. I can think of odder things.

    Henry VIII was odd but not for that reason.

  • Anon

    Yeah seriously, get rid of Anthony Burgess. The other three work but Burgess died in 1993. Who cares?

  • Stormknight

    10. The Parliament of Iceland is the oldest still acting parliament in the world. It was established in 930.

    is there a printing mistake 930 or 1930

  • sanju

    Thanks for sharing such an amazing blog. I saw one more interesting blog like u. http://mamta-didyouknow.blogspot.com/

  • alquiler vallas publicitarias

    It’s perfect time to make some plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I have read this publish and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write next articles regarding this article. I wish to read even more issues about it!

  • Roger Boni

    William Hitlers name was Schickelgruber, and he fought for USA under that name. Adolph Schickelgruber changed his name to Hitler for public relations reasons. Most of the stories he told about his boyhood in Mein Kampf were bald faced lies.

  • forza italia

    9 is just silly. People must have been carrying pieces of cloth with them to wipe dust and dirt since time immemorial.

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