Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return’d it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.
Sewing the outfits for the Apollo mission, 1968. Each astronaut had a custom-fitted suit!
In India! The original word for “chess” is the Sanskrit chaturanga, meaning “four members of an army”—which were mostly likely elephants, horses, chariots, and foot soldiers.
It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.
What are the “seven seas” that Medieval writers loved to mention?
- the Adriatic Sea
- the Mediterranean Sea – which includes seas around and in the Mediterranean, like the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea
- the Black Sea
- the Caspian Sea
- the Persian Gulf
- the Arabian Sea – which is today considered part of the Indian Ocean
- the Red Sea – including closed Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee
The Jade Record or “Yuli” is an illustrated religious tract that circulated in various versions and editions in the 1800s in China. It describes the horrors of Diyu – “earth prison,” or hell, based on a mix of Chinese Daoism and Buddhist tradition.
According to the Jade Record, bad people are sent through ten courts after they die. Each specializes in punishing a specific misdeed. Examples include having weak faith in the Buddha, gambling, drinking, stealing, drowning baby girls, and disbelieving in the Jade Record.
At the end of their journey through Diyu, souls forget their past life, in the goddess Meng’s “Tower of Forgetting.” They are then reincarnated in a new body. The new body depends on their old life. Bad people get bad bodies, good people get good bodies. Options include being an animal, an ill or ugly person, a poor person, and if they are lucky, a rich person.
In eighteen years of military service, Napoleon Bonaparte had eighteen horses shot out from under him!
Basketball coaches were not allowed to talk to their players during a game until 1949, when they were finally allowed to talk with them – but only during time-outs.
The Ethiopian calendar has 13 months and it is 7 or 8 years behind the Western calendar. It is right now 2018, but only 2011 in Ethiopia.