Chiedo venia se l’idea non e’ nuova, ma rimettendo a posto la mia scrivania ho trovato un altro po’ di pagine tratte dal mio fido Stupid History 2010 calendar che non me la sento di non condividere qui sul blog.
We know what a charley horse is – it’s a muscle cramp. But how did it get such a weird name? In 1640, Charles I of England expanded the London police force, and new recruits were nicknamed “Charley” in mock honor of the person responsible for their hiring. But there wasn’t enough money for horses, so the new recruits were forced to patrol on foot. After a full day of walking the beat, the new officers joked that their sore feet and legs were the results of riding “Charley’s horse.”
Here are some examples of actual and historically bizzarre book titles:
- The Pleasures of the Torture Chamber, John Swain (1931);
- Teach Yourself Alcoholism, Meier Glatt (1975);
- Build Your Own “Hindenburg,” Alan Rose (1983);
- The Bright Side of Prison Life, Captain S.A. Swiggert (1897).
In 1928 in Altendorf, Germany, a high wind caused a farmer’s windmill to spin so quickly that it caused a tremendous amount of heat to be generated through friction, which caused the windmill to catch on fire and burn to the ground.
In 80 B.C., young Julius Caesar was an ambassador to King Nicomedes IV in Bithynia, a Roman province in Asia Minor, and reportedly had a fling with the king. Most of the writers of the time mention the alleged affair, and Mark Antony even charged that Caesar’s adopted son, Octavian (Emperor Julius Caesar Octavianus), earned his adoption through sexual favors. Julius Caesar’s nickname was “the Queen of Bithynia.”
Some people argue that protecting freedoms of “religion, speech, assemply, press, and petition” were the most important issues, and that’s why they’re in the First Amendment. James Madison initially proposed twelve amendments to the Constitution, but only ten were approved. The now-famouse First Amendment was actually the Third Amendment in Madison’s original draft. What were the first two? They dealt with congressional pay raises and reapportionment.
Although the Gettysburg Address is considered the most eloquent oration in U.S. history, the Chicago Times hated it. On November 20, 1863, the day after Lincoln delivered his famous speech, the Times wrote: “The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dish-watery utterances of the man who has been pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States.”
Emily dickinson wrote a total of 1,789 poems. But in her lifetime only seven were published – all anonymously and probably without her knowledge.
Here are some examples of acutal and historically bizarre book title:
- Children Are Wet Cement, Ann Orlund (1981);
- Scouts in Bondage, Geoffrey Prout (1930);
- Do Snakes Have Legs? Bert Cunningham (1934);
- How to Become a Schizophrenic, John Modrow (1992);
- Reusing Old Graves, D. Davies and A. Shaw (1998).