Gleanings From The Past #63

Numerical Coincidence I have heard of certain individuals being regulated in all the important events of their lives by certain peculiar numbers, which fell out to them respectively, with a strangeness of accuracy which it is almost impossible to reckon altogether the effect of chance. The following account, which is taken from the work of an Arabian historian, affords […]

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Gleanings From The Past #61

Reasons for the Delay The editor of the American Mechanic has encountered trials unknown to ordinary men. Hearken unto his wailings. “Owing to the facts, that our papermaker disappointed us, the mails failed, and deprived us of our exchanges, a Dutch pedlar stole our scissors, the rats ran off with our paste, and the devils […]

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Gleanings From The Past #60

Diplomacy Lord Wentworth gave some very cavalier advice to one going upon a diplomatic mission : he was up to the system of courts, or he would not have committed himself by such a satire. ” To secure yourself, and serve your country, you must at all times, and upon all occasions, speak the truth; […]

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A Victim Of His Own Invention

Sir Robert Watson-Watt was a Scottish physicist and a proponent of radio direction finding and radar technology. His ideas were credited for the defeat of more than a quarter of German U-boats and subsequently enabled the Royal Air Force to win the Battle of Britain in 1941. Several years later, he was pulled over by […]

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Gleanings From The Past #57

Ingenious Postmen The following ludicrous direction to a letter was copied verbatim from the original and interesting document: too dad Tomas hat the ole oke otchut I O Bary pade Sur plees to let ole feather have this sefe. The letter found the gentleman at ‘The Old Oak Orchard, Tenbury.’ In another letter, the writer, […]

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A Stone-Cold Hoax

Melville Stone was a publisher of the Chicago Daily News during the 1870’s. In his memoir, he related the following anecdote of a hoax pulled by the Chicago Daily News against its competitor. The staff at the Daily News had a feeling that the Chicago Post and Mail, which was run by the McMullen brothers, […]

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A Psychic’s Lost Cat

The note above was found by someone named Richard near the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in Manhattan, New York. He said that he also found five to six more of this note posted in the area, but none of them provided any contact information. Upon further examination, he learned that the notes were […]

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Conveyance Of An Orange

The Western Law Journal, Vol. 5 (August 1848) gave the following interesting passage about the process of writing a deed of gift of an orange: If a man would, according to law, give to another an orange, instead of saying, “I give you that orange,” which one would think would be what is called in […]

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Not Lost In Translation: A Curious Language Anecdote

Vladimir Nabokov Vladimir Nabokov, in his 1962 novel Pale Fire, related a remarkable, albeit probably apocryphal, Russian language anecdote. The story went that a newspaper which covered the coronation ceremony of a Tsar “accidentally” misprinted “корона” (korona) (crown) as “ворона” (vorona) (crow). The following day, the newspaper apologized for the error and promptly “corrected” it. However, the word […]

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A Tombstone Reference

In New Orleans’ Metairie Cemetery, there’s a tombstone with a strange inscription. It wasn’t a witty verse or even an inspirational quote. Instead, it only contained this odd line, “See Louisiana Reports, 1905, Page 39.” The tomb belongs to a lady who was lost at sea, but the Louisiana Supreme Court instructed her will executors […]

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