There’s this famous historical place of worship called the Hagia Sophia. As a native English speaker, I naturally pronounced the first word “Hah/ghee/a”. Years later, I feel like a fool for never having learned “Hagia” actually sounds like “Aya”.
So imagine the confusion today upon encountering the word “hagiography”, and finding out that it’s pronounced pretty close to how it looks like it should be pronounced.
Helen Keller was pretty famous for being blind and deaf. However, I talked to this one historian who doubts this and presented some compelling evidence.
Go Google some images of Helen Keller. Please note she clearly had TWO eyes and TWO ears. And we’re expected to believe that ALL FOUR were not working at the same time??? Yeah, right!
It’s pretty clear she was just faking it for some attention.
(Interesting Fact: Stevie Wonder thought this was a great idea, and uses a similar scheme, except without the deaf part.)
Now Keller wasn’t stupid. She realized she might slip up some day and people would catch on to her tricks. So she and her handlers devised the perfect plan…
What if she “accidentally” stabbed herself in the stomach with a knife from the kitchen that was just lying on the counter? Since she was “blind”, it makes sense that she might not be able to see it. Then people would be sad and no one could question her “blindness” and “deafness”. (You can see me re-enacting the death in the picture.)
Fortunately for Helen, almost everyone bought her act about being blind and deaf anyway.
Unfortunately for Helen, it meant that her cover story was useless, and she died in vain. Although she would be dead by now anyway. Probably.
We are all somewhat familiar with the legend of King Arthur.
However, Katrushka’s research determined that, in fact, “Arthur” is a corruption of “Owther” and some members of the fabled “round table” were quite different. (And there’s no evidence there ever was a round table. True facts!)
The images are actual photographs taken in MS Paint.
For those of you that have been living under a rock (meme-wise), a scene from the movie Downfall has been endlessly parodied on the Interwebs.
Here’s my unnecessary chess-related contribution to the babble. Just in time for the June Chess Carnival, which will be hosted by resurrected chess blogger Robert Pearson (aka, the chess personality formerly known as Wahrheit)
While Donnie is off pretending to be important in Miami, I am staying with his girlFIEND Katrushka for a bit. I am very nervous because she is an unrepentant egg-eater but so far I seem to be safe. I guess she knows that Donnie will be heartbroken if anything happens to me. Anyway, Katrushka is helping me by editing the entry because she has a degree in Writing Stuff or whatever silly things women get degrees in. I think I offended her because told her she couldn’t change my stuff based on facts she looked up or whatever, but she could add footnotes. So if you see a number, that means there’s a note from Katrushka at the bottom of the entry. And it’s in a smaller font because it’s not as important.
Well, speaking of bossing women around, I want to talk about one of my late, great ancestors. That’s why I’m calling it “Great Eggs in History” instead of continuing the “Great Moments in History” series. Today I want to talk about my ancestor Egghis Khan. Egghis Khan was a Mongrel1 and a serious badass who conquered most of Asia and later his sons and grandsons conquered some of the Middle East and Europe and they probably would’ve conquered Mars if there had been spaceships2. “Egghis Khan” is ancient Mongrelian for “Super Egg King.” Egghis Khan had about a million wives, concubines, and “surprises.”3 In fact, it is estimated that 0.5% of all eggs AND HUMANS are genetically related to Egghis Khan. He was a lovin’ machine. And a fightin’ machine. Oh, and he kinda destroyed a lot of valuable stuff in other people’s cultures…but he did so because he took over their places and made them better! The Mongrel Empire eventually stretched from Mongrelia, where Egghis was born, all the way to Eastern Europe. And they didn’t have cars or planes or teleporters back then.4 ALSO, he was known for his tolerance (except for other people owning things he wanted) and wasn’t a racist at all! (Because anybody could be one of his insanely hot wives, no matter what race you were, as long as you were female. And insanely hot. I have the same criteria for my girlfriends.) And he had a lot of descendants, including me, the most important one. Here are some other important descendants:
In conclusion: Egghis Khan is my hero, and I am related to some weirdos5. I expect you all to refer to me by my new, ancestrally-correct name, Mascot Khan.
1 Mongol. He refused to believe it was a word.
2 Or air to breathe.
3 “Surprises” meaning “Surprise! You’re going to have my baby in 9 months!”
4 He is convinced that Star Trek is a documentary, and nothing I say will convince him otherwise.
5 He’s only related to some weirdos. Riiiiight.
So there was this Dutch guy named Vincent van Gogh. He was some sort of artist who did some Post-Impressionist stuff.
When he was 5, his classmates made fun of him for having names with the number of letters being prime numbers (Vincent = 7, van = 3, Gogh = 4). Except they didn’t realize 4 wasn’t a prime number. Even when van Gogh found out later, it didn’t help; the incident scarred him for life. He was officially diagnosed with primenumberphobia (I forgot the technical term).
At first he and another famous artist, Paul Gauguin, became friends. But Van Gogh was afraid another artist would steal his claim to fame, having two “G”‘s in his last name. So Van Gogh attacked Gauguin with a Norelco electric shaver, but comically slipped on a banana peel and cut off his own ear instead.
When he was 37 years old, his phobia of prime numbers finally overwhelmed him. He realized he was going to survive into the 1900’s if he didn’t do something (remember, 19 is a prime number). So he stabbed himself with 2 butter knives on July 29 (that’s 7/29. 2, 7, and 29 are all prime numbers. So is 37. Freaky, huh?)
So this guy was a freak, but I don’t think all Dutch are freaks, so don’t worry. I reserve those feelings for the Québécois.
Hyung Jun Becomes a Progamer: If you weren’t aware, the computer game Starcraft is serious business in South Korea, with a professional circuit and its own TV channel. In this reality series, a Korean boy band heartthrob tries his hand at joining one of the progaming teams.
So this guy General Custer gets all the blame for getting his butt kicked by Indians. But historians tend to ignore the brilliant Indian strategy that disabled Custer’s army.
You see, while the US Army dressed in full uniforms, the Native Americans wore loincloths that showed off their lean, muscular bodies. As the sweat glistened off the Indians’ perfectly formed pecs, Custer’s soldiers realized how homoerotic the battle would look in a movie. The Indians closed in on the nervous US army. Custer’s troops shifted uncomfortably as the definition of their enemies’ toned, taut thighs became more obvious.
The soldiers couldn’t stop focusing on the Indians’ chiseled six-packs, and were completely incapable of firing their weapons. The discomfiture of the US troops led to their annihilation (see General Custer’s death in the picture)
Over 100 years later, the US Army took a page from the Native Americans’ playbook. In 1991, just before the war over Kuwait, the US sent the entire Iraqi army a copy of the movie Top Gun. The conservative Iraqi troops were so disturbed by the latent homoeroticism in the movie, they completely lost cohesiveness as a fighting force.