Things you Could Find out from Wikipedia, but Happily Read Here Instead


1. The glorious honor of the shortest war in history goes to the Anglo-Zanzibar War, which lasted a grand total of 38 minutes. The French taunting in Monty Python and the Holy Grail lasted nearly that long.

2. On the show, M*A*S*H, the actor who played Sherman T. Potter also made a guest appearance in an earlier episode in which he played a batty colonel set on cleaning up the unit. The unit realized that he was a little off when he confused Klinger in his most flamboyant outfit for his own wife.

3. Lucretia Borgia was the illegitimate child of Pope Alexander VI and infamously portrayed as a femme fatale. Lucretia Mott was a Quaker, an abolitionist, and a suffragette. It is important that you never confuse these two.

4. The banjo, long a standard in country and folk music in this country, likely derived from an African instrument. Isn’t it funny how even when society is trying to keep groups apart their ideas are meshing? Take that, racism.

5. Although I always thought two-stepping was a regional thing, it turns out I was wrong. It’s actually pretty widely spread. This is why I have to apologize to a friend who dazzled me with his two-stepping skills. I thought it was a New Mexico thing and didn’t mean to imply that he couldn’t bust a move. I would like to add that it shouldn’t be called Texas two-step, but maybe I’m just biased.

5 seems enough to me. But I want to know, what are some random facts you learned because of the age of information?

PS. Do yourself a favor and check out the NPR Tiny Desk Podcast series on iTunes. They are free and brilliant. For example, I already really like Foster the People, but their acoustic set is so much better than their produced stuff in my not always humble opinion

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About charliegreenberry

I grew up in the wilds of New Mexico in a strange combination of free and restricted. Now, as I stumble unwillingly into adulthood, I find memories resurfacing. So I dust them off, sand them, slap on a coat of paint and display them with the hopes that at some point they'll make sense and pull the room together. The blog is a space for writing, for sharing, someday sharing without worrying about who is reading it, and a place to practice. Virginia Woolf said, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Well, here's to having a room at least.
This entry was posted in fashion, history, inspiration, lists, Music, quirk, royalty. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Things you Could Find out from Wikipedia, but Happily Read Here Instead

  1. Ian says:

    I have learned (thanks to this information society & very much to my delight) that some people believe John James Audubon, the naturalist, was actually the Lost Dauphin.

    I have also learned of the Phantom Time Hypothesis. This conspiracy notion contends that the early Middle Ages never happened, and that any “historical evidence” dating to roughly the years 600 to 900 AD are the result of a concerted fabrication effort. We live in the year 1714 or thereabouts, but we only think it’s 2011, because that’s what The Man wants us to think. I hear you raising doubts and mentioning things like tree rings. But please. The entire dendrochronology field has been in the pocket of Big History for decades.

    • Didn’t you talk about phantom time in a blog post? I seem to remember reading about it. Your experiences with wikipedia seem more interesting than mine. Your random button must be more randomized. I for one think we should run with phantom time. If it is only 1714, then society is way ahead of itself. this is good for us.

  2. Ian says:

    I learned of the Audubon/Dauphin connection via The Straight Dope, which is the source of most of my day-to-day knowledge of the world. (Well, that plus Trivial Pursuit for anything up to 1986, and Pop-Up Video for the period 1996-2002. There are gaps.)

    As for phantom time, I talk about it every single chance I get! Which isn’t nearly as often as I would like. Consider me a wide-eyed evangelist.

    • I’ll expect to see you sometime on a corner soapbox, preaching. So, what exactly was the purpose of making up the Middle Ages?

      • Ian says:

        The extra 3 centuries started out as a math error, apparently, and now there’s this vast archeo-historical conspiracy to prop up these fake years, rather than just admit the mistake. Or something. I’m a little fuzzy on the particulars.

        Possibly the hypothesis is about sticking it to Pope Gregory XIII.

  3. Huh… Well, if I remember anything useful from that degree of history I never used, it’s that historians love conspiracies.

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