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Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


canyoneer posted:

Tycho Brahe, famous Danish astronomer, died in the aftermath of rupturing his bladder after drinking too much at a meal (as it would have been impolite for him to get up). He either died from infection or from the huge dose of mercury that he took to treat it. Bonus fun fact: he was an astronomer in the pre-telescope era, and his observations were accurate enough for Johannes Kepler to use when he did the math to discover the three laws of planetary motion. He also had a pet elk, who sadly died when he drank too much beer and fell down the stairs.

Don't forget he also had a psychic dwarf jester (named Jeppe), who lived under one of his tables, and would only pop out in the middle of parties when everyone was properly drunk to make prophetic pronouncements!

E: Source: https://besslovejoy.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/187/

Tias has a new favorite as of 07:17 on Nov 6, 2015

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Invisible Clergy
Sep 25, 2015

"Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces"

Malachi 2:3


Minarch posted:

Just popping in to recommend the How We Got To Now documentary series, which is streaming on Netflix. It has just the right level of detail on a lot of lesser-known discoveries and inventions to be entertaining but also not feel like you're just hearing the same poo poo you heard back in second grade.

Thanks for this. I'm really enjoying it so far. your description is fair and accurate.

I don't really know how to perform a deft segue into this, so did you know America once had an emperor? I present to you, Emperor Norton I of the United States:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Norton

he's amazing.

Aesop Poprock
Oct 21, 2008




Grimey Drawer

Invisible Clergy posted:

Thanks for this. I'm really enjoying it so far. your description is fair and accurate.

I don't really know how to perform a deft segue into this, so did you know America once had an emperor? I present to you, Emperor Norton I of the United States:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Norton

he's amazing.

I knew who emperor Norton was already but only read the Sandman comics a few years back for the first time and I was surprised and happy to see him in there as a minor character.

Hedningen
May 4, 2013

Enough sideburns to last a lifetime.


Tias posted:

Don't forget he also had a psychic dwarf jester (named Jeppe), who lived under one of his tables, and would only pop out in the middle of parties when everyone was properly drunk to make prophetic pronouncements!

Or his pet moose, which died after getting drunk and falling down the stairs. At a party.

Also, only Brahe's official nose was gold. He had several extra prosthesis, including a copper one that was much lighter and more comfortable.

Vikings had a wicked sense of humor in their sagas. One of their traditions is witty quips when someone is killed - the most famous of which is Thorgrim's death in Njal's Saga. This shows that the tradition of badass quips in action scenes dates back to the Viking Age.

cash crab
Apr 4, 2015

all the time i am eating from the trashcan. the name of this trashcan is ideology



Accordion Man posted:

James Joyce also really liked his wife's farts.

Agricola Frigidus
Feb 7, 2010


canyoneer posted:

The "wild wild west" era as depicted in films only lasted like, 20 years.

The wild wild west actually never existed. It's a Romantic construct that only came to life after the West was tamed, in an era that produced both Owen Wisters' Virginian as well as Teddy Roosevelts' Rough Riders.

Seabhac
Sep 12, 2009


trickybiscuits posted:

.

A sootikin (or sooterkin) was/is an accumulation of dirt, soot, sweat, dead sloughed-off skin cells, and menstrual and vaginal discharge that would build up in the crotches of women who didn't wear underwear (common before 1800) and then fall out, giving rise to the belief that they were small animals that some women were capable of giving birth to.

.

Wait what? Are we accepting this as truth somehow? Googling doesn't give any real citation except some guys book and on the face of it it just makes no sense. Wearing no underwear makes it somehow more likely that things would collect in a vagina? What? This sounds like a stupid women's vaginas are oogy myth.

XMNN
Apr 26, 2008



An 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue has something similar.

http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/5402/pg5402.html

SOOTERKIN. A joke upon the Dutch women, supposing that, by their constant use of stoves, which they place under their petticoats, they breed a kind of small animal in their bodies, called a sooterkin, of the size of a mouse, which when mature slips out.

e: I mean I'm not saying it's not a women are gross thing*, but it's not a new one.

*Particularly because it's got this famous definition in it

C**T. The chonnos of the Greek, and the cunnus of the Latin dictionaries; a nasty name for a nasty thing: un con Miege.

XMNN has a new favorite as of 01:21 on Nov 6, 2015

CroatianAlzheimers
Jun 15, 2009

I can't remember why I'm mad at you...





Kate Beaton is pretty much HistoricalFunFact.jpg.

Seabhac
Sep 12, 2009


XMNN posted:

An 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue has something similar.

http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/5402/pg5402.html

SOOTERKIN. A joke upon the Dutch women, supposing that, by their constant use of stoves, which they place under their petticoats, they breed a kind of small animal in their bodies, called a sooterkin, of the size of a mouse, which when mature slips out.

See mice jumping into petticoats from the warmth of stoves then jumping out when the woman stands up makes a certain amount of sense. The gross thing before though I'm still 100 per cent convinced is bullshit or a bad joke.

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

nothin' wrong with a lady drinkin' alone in her room

I dunno. I used to own a gynecology textbook from the 1920s, with horrible illustrations and anecdotes that would make me believe anything. We really, really tend to take personal hygiene for granted.

XMNN
Apr 26, 2008



There's only one way to resolve this.

Seabhac
Sep 12, 2009


Crow Jane posted:

I dunno. I used to own a gynecology textbook from the 1920s, with horrible illustrations and anecdotes that would make me believe anything. We really, really tend to take personal hygiene for granted.

Actually with the advent of dry shampoo, perfume and deodorant I feel like we've reached a new age in women not washing ☺

But really, on the face of it, how could not wearing underwear possibly contribute to a decrease in hygiene there? Like much as I wish it would, menstruation doesn't just stay there until you shake it out or whatever? I'd love to see an actual cite that this was a thing because literally only one book seems to describe it as an accumulation of grossness as opposed to a joke. People still had sex with poor women back then, please don't destroy my illusion that men would baulk at an ` accumulation of dirt, soot, sweat, dead sloughed-off skin cells, and menstrual and vaginal discharge that would build up in the crotches of women who didn't wear underwear (common before 1800) and then fall out, giving rise to the belief that they were small animals`

That said, I'm a woman so maybe I just don't want to believe...

Quid
Jul 19, 2006


The papacy during the middle ages was pretty hosed up but I think my favorite event was the Cadaver Synod.

During the Cadaver Synod, the Vatican put a deceased Pope on trial. The deceased was found guilty.

How do you put a deceased body on trial, you ask? You exhume the body, put it on a throne and have a deacon answer for him. I like to imagine the deacon crouched down behind the throne and answered "Boy, I sure am guilty" in a high-pitched voice. The punishment was to invalidate his papacy, cut off the three fingers used for blessings and throw the body into a river. The body later washes up and people claim it's granting miracles. The general public isn't too pleased with the trial so they imprison the pope in charge who is then strangled to death while imprisoned.

The next pope says "just kidding" and invalidates the trial then re-buries the moist ex-pope body in the Vatican. Two popes after that, the newest pope decides on a double reverse and overturns the decision to invalidate the trial. (This pope was a judge on the original trial.) Luckily, it seems they left the body where it was this time,

Molentik
Apr 30, 2013



quote:


Filthy vag stuff


At least it explains the nickname 'Muis' or 'Bosmuis' that is sometimes used in the southern Netherlands (and possibly Flanders?) for a pussy!

Crow Jane
Oct 18, 2012

nothin' wrong with a lady drinkin' alone in her room

On top of the lack of bathing and modern feminine hygiene products, I think pubic hair maintenance was probably the province of prostitutes and noblewomen. I can imagine things getting pretty gross pretty fast.

Also, women didn't free bleed, they used rags. Which, interestingly enough, came into play in the Lizzie Borden trial. They found parts of a blood-soaked dress of her's somewhere on the property, she swore it was menstrual blood, and the (entirely male) court was too proper or embarrassed to question her further about it. Not that I'm saying she did it, necessarily, but she's probably lucky she lived when she did.

I apparently know a lot about old-timey vagina.

blunt for century
Jul 4, 2008

I've got a bone to pick.



I'd really appreciate it if people would provide sources in some of these contributions!

hard counter
Jan 2, 2015





Quid posted:

During the Cadaver Synod, the Vatican put a deceased Pope on trial. The deceased was found guilty.

The article you linked mentions "Stephen accused Formosus of perjury and of having acceded to the papacy illegally." While the source I have indicates heresy was the first charge (transcripts of the synoda horrenda were all destroyed anyway), there's still that 2nd accusation, the important one of becoming pope illegaly, that has a neat gimmick in it imho as this claim against Formosus rests on a certain technicality of papal law. An old, oft-ignored technicality was that individuals holding a diocese, that is a bishop that's connected to a bishopric/see/eparchy/synod, couldn't become pope. This technicality came from an ancient canon law/tradition that stated that bishops couldn't transfer from one diocese to another. Since the pope holds the bishopric of rome, a bishop holding a diocese somewhere else couldn't 'transfer' in. It was an old law and pretty much ignored by the 9th century since following it to the letter would've meant the vast majority of qualified papal candidates would actually be disqualified.

Alright, you got yourself a technicality to prosecute a corpse. Thing was Stephen himself was a bishop of a small town before ascending to popehood as well so using this particular canon infraction seems unwise since it would question/invalidate his own papacy as well. The person, however, who ordained him was Formosus. If the cadaver synod could go so far as to invalidate the whole of Formosus' papacy, which it did, Stephen could claim he was never a bishop in the first place so, even more technically, his own ascension would still be valid and not against canon law.

Unluckily an earthquake occured a week or two later which collapsed the roof of the original Basilica Salvatoris, the cathedral church of Rome and official seat of the Pope. Since there were also rumors that Formosus' corpse was out and doing miracles, a superstitious roman mob brought down Stephen.

Aesop Poprock
Oct 21, 2008




Grimey Drawer

Seabhac posted:

Wait what? Are we accepting this as truth somehow? Googling doesn't give any real citation except some guys book and on the face of it it just makes no sense. Wearing no underwear makes it somehow more likely that things would collect in a vagina? What? This sounds like a stupid women's vaginas are oogy myth.

One of the downfalls of any sort of pyf fact thread is you're gonna get a ton of wives tales and outright fake stuff that even cracked and listverse would refuse to publish

Khazar-khum
Oct 22, 2008

Cat Army
2nd Battalion


Crow Jane posted:

Related to this, sort of, I remember reading that decorative buttons on jacket sleeves originated with Napoleon, who got tired of seeing soldiers wipe their grubby noses and mouths on their sleeves. Since men's fashion has always been pretty heavily influenced by the military, it just kind of caught on for everyone, and is still standard to this day.

Not true. Buttons have been on men's sleeves since before the Renaissance.

twoday
May 4, 2005




Ok, I am determined to solve this.

sooterkin

PRONUNCIATION:
(SOO-tuhr-kin)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A sweetheart or mistress.
2. An afterbirth formerly believed to be gotten by Dutch women by warming themselves on stoves.
3. Something imperfect or unsuccessful.

I found this in a Bengali-English Dictionary:



This features a quote from John Cleveland, who talks about it as a hairy dirty placenta that Dutch women expel at birth alongside their normal child.

Apparently it was also used as slang for black people in the Dutch-speaking part of North America in the late 18th century.

I also found this discussion:

quote:

Sooterkin probably derives from the hypothetical Old Dutch *soetekijn, from soet "sweet". Having entered English, the soot- portion quickly lost its "sweet" connotation and became confused with soot thus, in 1795, it was used to mean "a chimney-sweep". The word could also mean simply "Dutchman", though.

Over its history, this word has enjoyed several bizarre meanings including "an imaginary kind of afterbirth formerly attributed to Dutch women" as in this passage (Note, in the 1650s a stove was probably a "foot-warmer containing burning charcoal, such as is used in the Low Countries") :

"There goes a Report of the Holland Women, that together with their Children, they are delivered of a Sooterkin, not unlike to a Rat, which some imagine to be the Off-spring of the Stoves."

Ok, so here we see that there are 3 different meanings of the word and that the etymology is Dutch. Etymonline lists it as first being used in 1680, just after the 3rd anglo-Dutch war. At around this time there were all sorts of insults about Dutch people being made in Europe and North America, in and around the recently conquered colony of New Netherland which still had a broad majority of Dutch-speaking residents. A lot of phrases such as Double Dutch (nonsense), Dutch Wife (whore), Dutch courage (booze), and others date from this time. Other common insults for the Dutch from this time was Frogs (which makes sense because the Dutch were amphibious, as much at home on their ships as on land) and Yankees (from the common Dutch name Jan-Kees). It could have been the same, that "Sooterkin" was a generic name for Dutch women, since the name "Soeteken" was a name used by Flemish and Frisian women in that time.

Looking more at the Etymology:

Zoet (or soet in old spelling) means sweet, and "een zoeter kind" is an old timey conjugation of the now obsolete neuter-gendered "kind" (which means child), so zoeterkind = sweet child. This could be a term of endearment, say from a mother to her son or daughter. This could also be the source of the meaning of "Sweetheart" in english

It must have taken on the connotation of being related to "soot" after entering English, though, since the Dutch word for this is "roet." I'm guessing that went like this: some English person asked another English person what a sooterkin is, and the other said "its a rat like child made of soot that comes out of Dutch women's sooty terrible vaginas because they use those stupid stoves under their skirts." This would follow with the general trend of constantly insulting the Dutch that was in vogue at the time.

The stoves in question:





quote:

The Dutch used to be known for a certain kind of foot warmer found alongside other household furniture: a pierced box with an earthenware or metal pot holding glowing coals inside. They called it a stoof (stove). These foot stoves were also common in northern Germany. A stone slab was an alternative to the wooden top with holes. Similar foot-warming “boxes” were known in other countries too: see this French chaufferette. In Britain open fires were the most popular way of warming yourself indoors and foot warmers were not much used in the home, but some craftspeople had an earthenware pot of coals for heating their workshop, and this might be placed under a footstool. In bitter winter weather women carried to meeting little foot-stoves – metal boxes which stood on legs and were filled with hot coals at home, and a second time during the morning from the hearthstone of a neighbouring farm-house or a noon-house. These foot-warmers helped to make endurable to the goodwives the icy chill of the meeting-house; and round their mother’s foot-stove the shivering little children sat on their low crickets, warming their half-frozen fingers.

and from this the myth grew that soot accumulated in their vaginas. Or maybe their placentas actually were black and sooty, who knows. Or maybe if they sat on this thing for too long they accumulated too much smoke in their pussies, and this induced a miscarriage that came out all black and smokey like a South Carolina rib roast, and that is where we get the get the third and final meaning of "an abortive attempt". Who knows. I give up.

Edit:

quote:

John Maubray (1700–1732) was a Scottish physician, who practised in London as an early teacher of midwives. He wrote a book called "The Female Physician" published in 1724, and became chairman of the Charitable Corporation.

As a member of a group of London-based man midwives he was a follower of the ideas of the Dutch surgeon, Hendrik van Deventer (1651–1724), whose wife was also a midwife.

Maubray was associated with the peculiar concept of the Sooterkin, which held that pregnant women who were regularly in the presence of certain animals could give birth to children bearing the same characteristics as those animals. Maubray was one of the experts in the case of Mary Toft, who had allegedly given birth to rabbits, which he saw as proof of his theories. Dr. Maubray even claimed that he had seen and delivered a sooterkin when he was traveling on a ferry from Harlingen to Amsterdam and a woman fell into labor on board.

twoday has a new favorite as of 12:40 on Nov 6, 2015

McKilligan
May 13, 2007

Acey Deezy

That is a whole lot of words about an obscure reference to a possibly fictional vaginal discharge, and I salute you for it.

Who What Now
Sep 10, 2006

In the cheery brightness of the 41st millennium there is only CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!


With the mention of the one doctor allegedly seeing a woman give birth to rabbits, I seem to remember a story of a woman around that period who astounded people by shoving live baby rabbits up her vagina and then "birthing" them by pushing them out or just letting them crawl out on their own. I'm at work and can't properly research this, but if it's true then people back then were loving weird.

Buzkashi
Feb 4, 2003


College Slice

Holy poo poo stop talking about vaginae and listen to my fun fact

In 1925, scrap dealer Andre Poisson bought the deed to the Eiffel Tower from the deputy director-general of the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs. The deputy had arranged a meeting and told several leading dealers that the tower was in disrepair, didn't fit the city's aesthetic, and was to be sold for scrap metal, and Poisson was eager to prove himself in front of his competitors.

Unfortunately, the only thing he proved was his gullibility, as the deputy turned out to be none other than con man Victor Lustig, who promptly skipped town with the funds. Poisson was so embarrassed he didn't even report it to the police. Lustig pulled the same scam a few years later and was reported to the authorities, but managed to escape before his arrest.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/czechs/victor-lustig-the-man-who-could-have-sold-the-world

RC and Moon Pie
May 5, 2011



Who What Now posted:

With the mention of the one doctor allegedly seeing a woman give birth to rabbits, I seem to remember a story of a woman around that period who astounded people by shoving live baby rabbits up her vagina and then "birthing" them by pushing them out or just letting them crawl out on their own. I'm at work and can't properly research this, but if it's true then people back then were loving weird.

Mary Toft.

Rebel Blob
Mar 1, 2008

Extinction for our time



Early in the 20th century, the kings of Egypt and Italy (Fuad I and Victor Emmanuel III respectively) happened to be great friends. A personal deal they set up between themselves was that each one would send mistresses to the other once the first had gotten bored of her (have a citation). After all, what are seconds between friends and kings?

XMNN
Apr 26, 2008



They weren't live, they were bits of dead rabbit (and most of a cat).

cash crab
Apr 4, 2015

all the time i am eating from the trashcan. the name of this trashcan is ideology



This entire page was exactly what I had in mind when I started this thread: passionate discussions about historical minutiae.

canyoneer
Sep 13, 2005


I only have canyoneyes for you


Rebel Blob posted:

Early in the 20th century, the kings of Egypt and Italy (Fuad I and Victor Emmanuel III respectively) happened to be great friends. A personal deal they set up between themselves was that each one would send mistresses to the other once the first had gotten bored of her (have a citation). After all, what are seconds between friends and kings?

Royal eskimo brothers. Noice.

Name for avocados comes from the Aztec/Nahuatl language word "ahuacate". It's also Aztec slang for testicles (because they kind of look like a ballsack). So every time you use the word avocado, you are repeating a centuries old dirty joke

Aesop Poprock
Oct 21, 2008




Grimey Drawer

Who What Now posted:

With the mention of the one doctor allegedly seeing a woman give birth to rabbits, I seem to remember a story of a woman around that period who astounded people by shoving live baby rabbits up her vagina and then "birthing" them by pushing them out or just letting them crawl out on their own. I'm at work and can't properly research this, but if it's true then people back then were loving weird.

I think people have probably been just as weird at any point in history, the difference is at the turn of the century the media reported it as "what an intriguing and mirthful tale!" Whereas now it would just be a bunch of people on the internet going "wow this woman is gross and batshit crazy for attention"

Falukorv
Jun 23, 2013


canyoneer posted:


Name for avocados comes from the Aztec/Nahuatl language word "ahuacate". It's also Aztec slang for testicles (because they kind of look like a ballsack). So every time you use the word avocado, you are repeating a centuries old dirty joke

Same for Orchids, which is derived from the Greek word for testicle (órkhis). Many species from the genus Orchis, which gives the large Orchid family it's name, have root tubers resembling the shape of testicles..

Alhazred
Feb 16, 2011






Buzkashi posted:

Holy poo poo stop talking about vaginae and listen to my fun fact

In 1925, scrap dealer Andre Poisson bought the deed to the Eiffel Tower from the deputy director-general of the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs. The deputy had arranged a meeting and told several leading dealers that the tower was in disrepair, didn't fit the city's aesthetic, and was to be sold for scrap metal, and Poisson was eager to prove himself in front of his competitors.

Unfortunately, the only thing he proved was his gullibility, as the deputy turned out to be none other than con man Victor Lustig, who promptly skipped town with the funds. Poisson was so embarrassed he didn't even report it to the police. Lustig pulled the same scam a few years later and was reported to the authorities, but managed to escape before his arrest.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/czechs/victor-lustig-the-man-who-could-have-sold-the-world

Lustig actually scammed Al Capone. He told Capone that if he gave him $50.000 Lustig could double that. Capone gave Lustig the money who did absolutely nothing with it. He then returned the money saying that the deal fell through. Impressed by his "integrity" Capone gave Lustig $5000.

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


Aesop Poprock posted:

I think people have probably been just as weird at any point in history, the difference is at the turn of the century the media reported it as "what an intriguing and mirthful tale!" Whereas now it would just be a bunch of people on the internet going "wow this woman is gross and batshit crazy for attention"

Also, we live in a strange era of Bronies and Mens Rights Activists. A century from now people are going to laugh and cringe themselves silly reading about all that.

Reubenesque Sandwich
Aug 1, 2006
Their flashing tongues, spitting out blood and poison.

Fun Shoe

Alhazred posted:

Lustig actually scammed Al Capone. He told Capone that if he gave him $50.000 Lustig could double that. Capone gave Lustig the money who did absolutely nothing with it. He then returned the money saying that the deal fell through. Impressed by his "integrity" Capone gave Lustig $5000.

Best part of that was he did it for personal satisfaction, Capone hated con-men.

New Wave Jose
Aug 20, 2008


SeanBeansShako posted:

Also, we live in a strange era of Bronies and Mens Rights Activists. A century from now people are going to laugh and cringe themselves silly reading about all that.

I wish I could see how they misinterpret a lot of our stuff

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


Grimlook posted:

I wish I could see how they misinterpret a lot of our stuff

It almost makes looking into freezing your head in a jar an interesting concept, just to see what they'd make of the tail end of the last century and the start of this one!

Bates
Jun 15, 2006


Their views on our generation will depend on the content from which social media platform will be best preserved.

Munin
Nov 14, 2004




Anosmoman posted:

Their views on our generation will depend on the content from which social media platform will be best preserved.

The only survivor of the apocalypse will be Stormfront!

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005



Napoleon Bonaparte's Imperial Guard regularly went into battle while singing a jolly little song about onions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE70jrhOrjk

Loosely translated: "We love onions fried with oil, let's charge, the onions change us into a lion, let's charge, but no onion for those Austrian bastards, let's charge." The Grenadiers of the Old Guard, the elite of the elite, were also granted the special privilege to bitch and moan as they pleased about the vagaries of military life, and so became known as "the grumblers", or les Grognards.

Invisible Clergy posted:

Thanks for this. I'm really enjoying it so far. your description is fair and accurate.

I don't really know how to perform a deft segue into this, so did you know America once had an emperor? I present to you, Emperor Norton I of the United States:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Norton

he's amazing.

New Zealand has an official Wizard (no, not Gandalf). He was officially granted the title in 1990 by the Prime Minister.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizard_of_New_Zealand

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doodlebugs
Feb 18, 2015

by Lowtax


Yang Kyoungjong was a Korean soldier who fought for the Japanese Army, the Soviet Army and the German Wehrmacht.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yang_Kyoungjong

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