Category: interesting!

Athletes in ancient Greece smeared olive oil on their bodies before a competition. The oil made their skin more supple and made them appear, as classical writers described, “like gleaming statues of the gods.”

In Chinese superstition, a chestnut dangling from a branch provokes fear. The character for “lì” means both “chestnut” and “afraid, trembling.”

The movie, Titanic, cost more to make than the ocean liner Titanic.

Aftershocks from Hawaii Island’s largest earthquake, in 1868, continue to the present day.

It was estimated to be a 7.9 on the Richter scale and the earthquake and resulting tsunami caused 77 deaths.

Ritual axe decorated with skulls and crown motifs. The handle and axehead are glass, and the rest is gilded bronze. The axe was likely to cut through delusions or sever psychological attachments to the worldly life, allowing one to spiritually evolve.

From the town of Derge in the Kham region (today’s Tibet). 1500s – 1600s CE.

The grand total? US$ 150.00

From Kansas City, Kansas.

Today’s cheesecakes are made with cream cheese, plus a combination of sugar, eggs, flour, and flavors. Cream cheese is a modern invention, but cheesecakes go further back. There is evidence that cheesecakes using ricotta, cottage cheese, mascarpone and others existed long before. However, if you traveled back to North America in the 1700s (and Western Europe) and ordered a “cheesecake” you would probably find yourself disappointed.

Cheesecakes used to have no cheese at all! Although they have various flavors a modern eater might recognize, like lemon, many others would be completely foreign, like potato cheesecake. As far as those who study the cookbooks of the 1700s can surmise, such cakes were called cheesecakes because they were made to have the consistency and texture of cheese, and also were usually made in a pie-like dish and kind of resembled a cheese wheel.

Some tidbits that interested me:

  1. Blackbeard was born Edward Thache, son of a moneyed Englishman who brought his family to the Caribbean when Edward was 4 or 5 years old, to become a plantation owner. They owned slaves.
  2. Edward’s mother Elizabeth died in 1699, and sometime around then, Edward had a daughter he named Elizabeth.
  3. By 1699, Edward Thache was working on merchant ships, and in April 1706, he joined the British navy.
  4. In late 1706, his father passed away. Edward signed over his inherited estates to his stepmother, choosing life at sea over life as a planter
  5. Thache almost certainly fought in Queen Anne’s War (1701 – 1714) and probably enjoyed the fighting, because when the war was over, he turned pirate