An Ingenious Hiding Technique

  A friend emailed me this amusing video earlier: It’s a “tutorial” on how to escape police using a duct tube. The premise may sound silly, but the execution of the trick is clever.

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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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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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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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Parting Words

Above is the tombstone of John Laird McCaffery (1940-1995) which is found in Montreal’s Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges. There’s also an epitaph written there composed together by McCaffery’s wife and mistress: Free your body Unfold your powerful wings Climb up the highest mountains Kick your feet up in the air You may now live forever Or return to this […]

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A Ghostwriter Who Hired A Ghostwriter

Nowadays, the demand for ghostwriters is on the rise. Some people like to use their services to write for their blogs and social media accouts to lessen their burden while others even hire them to write a book for them. Nonetheless, ghostwriting has been around for centuries, in one form or another. There are historians […]

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Strange Business Signs (19th-Century London)

Here is an amusing article from Ballou’s Dollar Monthly Magazine (June 1861) about some peculiar business signs found in Victorian London: A stranger is surprised in London by some of the signs, which have been handed down for generations, which are used to distinguish particular places of business. Many of them are perfectly unmeaning, but are […]

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Gleanings From The Past #42

Almanacs About nine or ten years ago, the editors of Moore’s Almanac began this attempt by discarding the monthly column containing the moon’s supposed influence on the several members of the human body; and, as an experiment, to ascertain the feeling of the public on the occasion, printed at first only one hundred thousand copies. […]

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