Archive for the ‘history’ Category

Before smallpox vaccine was invented in 1796, they did inoculation where they’d actually give you live smallpox through the skin.  You usually got a milder version of smallpox but your chances of dying went from 30% (getting smallpox naturally) down to 1-2%.  A scary choice to make, I’m sure.

I was thinking about the electoral college and the possibility of an elector voting for someone other than they person they were supposed to vote for.  They’re apparently called faithless electors.  Many states have laws that would punish faithless electors, although they’ve never had to enforce them.  It has happened from time to time.  In 2000, one of them voted for nobody “in protest of DC’s lack of representation in congress”.  In 2004, one of them accidentally voted for John Ewards [sic].

This weekend, we went on a little trip to southern New Mexico in the Deming area.

We went on the tour of a ghost town, Shakespeare, NM.  It was named by an English miner who even called a couple of streets Stratford and Avon.  Buildings were small back then.  At one point, a guy tried to start a boom there by planting gems out in the desert.  People became suspicious when they found gems that wouldn’t be found in the area.

We also went to see City of Rocks…a bunch of tall rocks out in the middle of the desert.  Great place for hide-and-seek.

On the way back, we dropped by Elephant Butte lake and went swimming a little.  The water was great, once you got used to it.  If you’re taking a 2-wheel drive vehicle there, avoid the sand at all costs!  We got stuck a couple of times and I’m paranoid of driving through anything that looks like sand now.  Sadly, the main beach area is mainly crowded with huge RVs that take up as much space as possible.  Are all lakes like that?

Ravens are kept at the tower of London.  One of the Beefeaters cares for them.  Beefeaters are guards who wear a kind of kilt with pants as well as an odd top hat.  This reminds me of our American tradition where we have rabid badgers guarding the top of the statue of liberty who are tended by former NFL football champions.  Oh wait.  No we don’t.

We watched the Oliver! musical on Netflix.  I looked up gruel.  It’s basically Malt-O-Meal if you’ve ever had that…a thin hot wheat-based soupy stuff.  Porridge is a thicker version of gruel.  I like Malt-O-Meal with butter and sugar, but I’m guessing Oliver didn’t get any of those in the orphanage/workhouse.  Come to think of it, my kids have never had malt-o-meal.  Time to let them try it.  And if they ask for more, they’ll have to talk to the administrators!

Here’s your presidential fact of the day.  ”After a fire burned much of the town of Moron, California, in the 1920s, it was renamed Taft, California, in his honor.

There he goes again…chasing after those Happinefs!

From the Declaration of Independence:

(That’s a long s.)

Back before people knew what caused bubonic plague (fleas and rodents), plague doctors would dress like this.  The beak mask was to protect them from miasmas or “bad air”.

I wondered what the little loop on the back of my dork shirts is for.  It’s apparently called a “hang loop” and is, as you might have guessed, for hanging the shirt from a hook.  Who does that?

The antiquated save icon should probably go away now.  Younger people may not even know what that picture is supposed to be.  In case you don’t know, it’s a floppy disk.  They were plastic squares the size of your palm that held a pitiful amount of data.  You could fit thousands of them on a USB stick.  They failed all the time and I don’t even install them in my PCs anymore.  I’m not sure what tiny, obvious picture should replace it.  Hard drive pictures are generally kinda technical and mysterious looking, so they don’t obviously mean “save”.  Funny how things you assume to be obvious are actually pretty antiquated.  I thought this one was obvious until I saw that someone on the internet was asking the question.

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