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Parental Guidance

  • Siobhan O'Shea
  • January 17, 2019 05:11:40 AM
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A Little About Us

Horrible History, mythology, and folklore for Adults All history is interesting if looked at in the right way. Think of the weirdest, grossest, bizarre thing you can and multiply it by infinity. That's how weird history is. Did you know.... The CIA's had a secret spy cat project. Victorian fashionistas wore live insect jewellery. The East German police stole people's underwear. Tobacco smoke enemas were a polular medical treatment in the 18th century. We tell you the history your teacher never told you..and you wish they did!

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If Day – the day Winnipeg staged a massive Nazi Invasion

The Canadian city of Winnipeg staged an enormous Nazi Invasion in 1942. On If Day (French: “Si un jour”), the “Nazis” (played by young Board of Trade members in German uniforms borrowed from Hollywood) attacked Winnipeg at dawn in -24°C.  Some painted sabre scars on their faces to look even more vicious. Super efficiently, they got Winnipeg’s surrender at 9:30 am, and renamed the city Himmlerstadt by noon. In one fell swoop, they abolished Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Masons,...

The Canadian city of Winnipeg staged an enormous Nazi Invasion in 1942.

Nazis driving tanks down Portage Avenue, Winnipeg

On If Day (French: “Si un jour”), the “Nazis” (played by young Board of Trade members in German uniforms borrowed from Hollywood) attacked Winnipeg at dawn in -24°C.  Some painted sabre scars on their faces to look even more vicious. Super efficiently, they got Winnipeg’s surrender at 9:30 am, and renamed the city Himmlerstadt by noon.

In one fell swoop, they abolished Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Masons, Knights of Columbus, Odd Fellows, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, and trade unions.

The authentic features of the If Day invasion included:

  • A real blackout of the city
  • Radio warnings to rural Manitoba in advance to prevent a War of the Worlds-style panic
  • An internment camp
  • An enormous gun fight (with explosions using real dynamite!)
  • The local newspaper was ‘taken over’ and published a front page entirely in German
  • Anti-aircraft guns fired blanks at fighter planes that flew over the city.
  • Dynamite charges were placed on the ice below bridges. They were then “blown up” using smoke generators and coal dust

There were many advance “warnings” in newspapers about If Day. Nevertheless, some people managed to miss the advance publicity and must have got quite a shock.

Laugh or be imprisoned

Simulated German soldiers harassing a newspaper carrier during If Day

The Winnipeg Tribune was renamed Das Winnipeger Lügenblatt (“The Winnipeg Lies-sheet”), a ‘Nazi’ publication featuring heavily censored columns and a front page written almost entirely in German.

One satirical story noted that:

“this is a great day for Manitoba …The Nazis, like Der Fuehrer, are patient, kind and tolerant, but THEIR PATIENCE IS RAPIDLY EXHAUSTED BECOMING”.

Another included an “official joke”, approved by the German authorities, at which all readers were ordered to laugh or be imprisoned. 

Q: “Who was that lady last night I saw you out with?”
A: “That lady was my wife!”
(Joke) Ha Ha Ha!

At 6 p.m., the head of the family MUST read this column out loud, while family members laugh three regulation German laughs in unison at each joke. Dissidents were to be reported to the Gestapo by other members of the family. Only official jokes from this column may be told and all of them must be memorised. Official “laughing classes” were to be set up as soon as possible to better instruct the population in German humour.

Books were burned in front of the main Carnegie branch of the Winnipeg Public Library. Don’t worry – no books were actually harmed. They had been pre-selected for incineration as damaged or outdated. 

Fake currency

Fake German Reichsmarks; the reverse features an ad for Victory Loans

At one local elementary school, the principal was arrested and replaced with a ‘Nazi’ educator dedicated to teaching the “Nazi Truth”. Most children were allowed to leave school at 11:30 am to listen to the radio play “Swastika over Canada” on the Canadian  Broadcasting Corporation. 

Canadian currency was replaced with fake German Reichsmarks, the only propaganda notes that Canada created during the war. Early morning customers at coffee shops were forced to take their change in “worthless paper Reichmarks”. Two dozen German soldiers barged into the cafeteria at Great-West Life, forced men and women from their luncheon tables and stole their food!

In the new food rationing, milk was only given to children five years old or younger—3½ cups per week. The Nazis were appalled at the huge amounts of soap available, and immediately reduced this to one tablet per family per month—including detergent.

One recipe had the Nazi seal of approval:  “a meat dish approved and recommended by Der Fuehrer: a hamburger made from a cow’s udder.”

Internment

City officials being arrested and taken to the internment camp

City officials were rounded up and taken to an internment camp at Lower Fort Garry.  Among those marched off were Premier John Bracken, Mayor John Queen, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, and even visiting Norwegian ambassador to the United States Wilhelm de Morgenstierne.

One council member, Dan McClean, escaped but was recaptured after a rigorous search! Chief of Police George Smith avoided capture because he was at lunch when soldiers arrived at his office. So they went upstairs (to a store on the second floor of the police station) and confiscated dozens of buffalo coats. It was, after all, freezing.

The Union Flag at Lower Fort Garry was replaced with the swastika.The city was renamed “Himmlerstadt”, and Main Street was termed “Hitlerstrasse”

If Day casualties

The first mock casualty was reported at 8:00 am. Dressing stations were set up at strategic points to give the ambulances and medical officers some practice. They also treated the two real casualties of If Day– a soldier who sprained his ankle, and a woman (a Miss Gorin) who cut her thumb preparing toast during the early-morning blackout.

The simulation was over by 5:30 pm. A parade down Portage Avenue featured signs urging residents to buy victory bonds because “It must not happen here”. Over C$3 million was collected in Winnipeg on that day. 

If Day Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_Day

Life Magazine

The Patriotic Consensus: Unity, Morale, and the Second World War in Winnipeg

By Jody Perrun

Manitoba Historical Society

Elinorflorence.com

 

 

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Queen Victoria had a beautiful, clever teenage sister

Queen Victoria’s only real friend during her childhood was her almost unknown half-sister Feodora. Victoria’s half-sister, the beautiful, clever Feodora, was packed off at 21 to a penny-pinching life in a draughty German castle. Victoria was only nine years old. Feodora was glad to escape; she admitted to Victoria in one of their hundreds of letters that she “might have married I don’t know whom – merely to get away”. Captives at Kensington The two girls were rarely allowed...

Queen Victoria’s only real friend during her childhood was her almost unknown half-sister Feodora.

Victoria’s half-sister, the beautiful, clever Feodora, was packed off at 21 to a penny-pinching life in a draughty German castle. Victoria was only nine years old. Feodora was glad to escape; she admitted to Victoria in one of their hundreds of letters that she “might have married I don’t know whom – merely to get away”.

Captives at Kensington

The two girls were rarely allowed beyond the palace gardens. Poor teenage Feodora remembers that her only happy time was driving out with Victoria and her governess : “then I could speak and look as I like”.

Feodora, and especially Victoria, lived under The Kensington System. It was a strict and elaborate set of rules designed by her mother Victoria, Duchess of Kent, along with her attendant (and possibly lover) Sir John Conroy.

 

  • Victoria was not allowed any privacy. At all times she was to be accompanied by an adult
  • She was not allowed to walk up or downstairs without holding her mother’s arm. Ever.
  • She had to sleep in the same room as her mother until she became queen at age 18.
  • Morning lessons began at 9:30 sharp with a break at 11:30. Lessons would resume for the afternoon at 3:00 and would last until 5:00.
  • All her activities and daily doings would be recorded in pen and ink. Everything.

 

Like a pair of cartoon villains, Conroy and the Duchess schemed to make Victoria Queen. They were horrified at the chance that King George IV might marry Feodora. Victoria let slip that the King “paid great attention to my Sister, and some people fancied he might marry her!”

Conroy also wanted Feodora gone because he feared her influence. She might encourage Victoria to rebel. He advised the Duchess:

“It is necessary for your and the Pss. Victoria’s interest that it should take place – the interest you ought to have over her [Victoria] will be endangered if she sees an older sister not so alive to it as she should be – and recollect, once your authority is lost over the Princess V. you will never regain it”.

Romance for Feodora

One Stephen, an Irish furrier, trotted after Feodora when she drove around St. James Park, and wrote Cabinet Ministers, the King, and every member of the royal family that the Princess loved him. Even a short prison stay didn’t dampen his passion. Auguste D’Este, son of the Duke of Sussex, wrote letters and even attempted to slip Feodora a gold ring.

Conroy rejected suitors who were based in England, or were too rich and powerful. He chose the 32 year old German Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, from a family almost ruined by the Napoleonic wars. With an income of £600 a year, Feodora would be too poor to visit her half-sister. With glee, Conroy writes: “her life would be unmarked by anything very splendid”.

Luckily, Feodora seems to have been happy with her Ernest of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. While she assures Victoria that she wishes she could fly in at her window on her birthday like a little robin, she deadpans that her Ernest would miss her and that he was “rather tall and heavy for flying”. She went on to have six children with Ernest – in six years!

 

Sibling Awkwardness

If you have some award moments with your siblings, just be relieved that you’re not on different sides of European dynastic wars. Victoria and Feodora were at odds over the whole Franco-Prussian War and the Schleswig-Holstein affair. Awkward!

But when they were widowed within a year of each other, Victoria hoped that Feodora would come and  live with her. Feodora visited in 1863, but couldn’t put up with her sister’s unrelenting grief. Victoria went on to mourn for 30 years! Not fun at family get-togethers.

There’s no evidence that the Feodora in the TV series “Victoria” – ambitious, calculating- is true at all. Fun, certainly, not not at all how the sisters felt about each other.

Just look at the touching letter Feodora left for Victoria, to be read upon her death:

“I can never thank you enough for all you have done for me, for your great love and tender affection. These feelings cannot die; they must and will live on in my soul – till we meet again, never more to be separated -and you will not forget”

Happy National Sibling Day (April 10)!

Sources:

Queen Victoria: A Biographical Companion

By Helen Rappaport

Becoming Queen

By Kate Williams

 

 

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A very trusted Madman and The Oxford English Dictionary

No one at the Oxford English Dictionary suspected that their most industrious contributor was a madman, a murderer, and an American. Presumably, in that order. In an early version of crowd sourcing, Oxford English Dictionary editor James Murray appealed in newspapers for readers who would report “as many quotations as you can for ordinary words”. He preferred words that were “rare, obsolete, old-fashioned, new, peculiar or used in a peculiar way”. These unknown...

No one at the Oxford English Dictionary suspected that their most industrious contributor was a madman, a murderer, and an American. Presumably, in that order.

Dr. W.C. Minor. Source

In an early version of crowd sourcing, Oxford English Dictionary editor James Murray appealed in newspapers for readers who would report “as many quotations as you can for ordinary words”. He preferred words that were “rare, obsolete, old-fashioned, new, peculiar or used in a peculiar way”.

These unknown volunteers were charged with the painstaking work of finding literary passages that could be slotted into the definitions.

Murray edited the Oxford English Dictionary from a corrugated iron outbuilding called the “Scriptorium” which was lined with wooden planks, book shelves, and 1,029 pigeon-holes for the quotation slips.

As definitions were collected, Murray discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand – sometimes at a rate of over 100 a week.

Minor always signed his address in the same way: Broadmoor, Crowthorne, Berkshire. He was detained “in safe custody until Her Majesty’s Pleasure be known.”

This rather lovely phrase has a waft of tea and cucumber crumpets. In fact, it meant that Minor was locked up in Broadmoor asylum for the criminally insane. With no fixed release date.

He was to remain there for 38 years.

The Irish Problem

The Professor and The Madman Movie, with Mel Gibson and Sean Penn. Source

Minor was beset by twisted, terrifying dreams involving Irish people trying to kill him. And sometimes force him to go to brothels.

According to Simon Winchester, in “The Professor and The Madman”:

“Men would then break into his rooms, place him in a flying machine, and take him to brothels in Constantinople, where he would be forced to perform acts of terrible lewdness with cheap women and small girls.”

Minor’s break down is often traced to a Civil War incident where, as a surgeon, he was forced to brand an Irish deserter on the cheek with a 1.5 inch letter “D”.

The movie “The Professor and The Madman” based on the relationship between Minor and Murray also broke down on an Irish sticking point. Mel Gibson was unhappy that the Oxford scenes were actually shot in Trinity College, Dublin.

The Sean Penn and Mel Gibson’s beard-off movie is probably now best known for Gibson and director Farhad Safinia basically disavowing it. The movie is credited to “P.B. Shemran”, an W.C. Minor-like alias if there’s ever been one.

In any case, Minor’s behaviour became increasingly bizarre. While stationed on Governor’s Island in New York Harbour, he began carousing nightly with prostitutes.

He was transferred to Florida, where he became increasingly paranoid—he would accuse his superior officers of plotting against him—and violent.

By 1868, even Army doctors had to diagnose him as “delusional,” “suicidal” and “homicidal”. Sinking deeper into paranoia, Minor shot and killed George Merritt, a stoker, believing he had broken into his room.

A Private Library

Murray in the Scriptorium at Banbury Road, before 1910 at work on the Oxford English Dictionary

Murray in the Scriptorium at Banbury Road, before 1910.  Source

Minor discovered the dictionary about 1881. He may have seen a mention of the project in the Athenaeum. A more poetic version is that the widow of the man he murdered, a regular visitor, delivered all unknowing a copy of Murray’s famous Appeal for Readers.

Finding the slip of paper between 2 volumes, Minor may have read it and discovered the work that would, to some extent, redeem him.

He rented a SECOND cell in the asylum, basically turning his two cells into an substantial private library. Another inmate built him beautiful, teak bookshelves. His army pension and family money allowed him to buy expensive antique books from bookstores not only in England, but from America as well.

Minor certainly made an enormous contribution to the dictionary over the years. Murray said Minor’s contributions were so great they

“could easily have illustrated the last four centuries [of words] from his quotations alone”.

Self-Surgery

After 30 years in Broadmoor, Minor had been there longer than any other patient. A powerful sense of guilt about his youthful sexual escapades – and nightly torments, during which he claimed to have uncontrollable sexual relations with thousands of women – never abated.

Without fail, he barricaded his door every night, pushing his writing desk across it. Of course this didn’t stop his imaginary abusers.

One evening in his quarters in Block 2, he tied a thread around the base of his penis, then with one swift motion of his pen-knife, amputated his penis. He flung it into the fireplace and watched the “evil flesh” burn.

Minor apparently recovered uneventfully, physically at least.

Scholarship in a padded cell

In 1915, a fictionalised account of a meeting between Minor and Murray appeared in Strand magazine, and took on a life of its own.

It described how, following Minor’s failure to attend the Great Dictionary Dinner in 1897, Murray decided to visit Minor himself, to find out who this mysterious man was.

When shown into the study of Broadmoor’s director he naturally assumed this man was the mysterious Minor. Only then did he find out that Minor was actually an inmate of the asylum.

The Pall Mall Gazette swooned: “No romance is equal to this wonderful story, of scholarship in a padded cell”.

A very cinematic treatment of the story -one wonders if that’s the version in ““The Professor and The Madman”.

In truth, Murray’s suspicions were aroused in the late 1880s, when a visitor from America thanked him for his kindness to the “poor Dr Minor”.

Minor’s troubled history was finally revealed, and Murray was nonplussed. While it was still till many years before he visited Broadmoor, (in 1891 not 1897), in the intervening years Murray wrote to Minor with sensitivity, never letting on that he knew about his mental illness.

In a case of truth being better than fiction, the real meeting was the start of a lasting friendship. Murray visited Minor at Broadmoor many times over 20 years and pulled strings to have him released to America in his final years – with the first half-dozen completed volumes of the dictionary.

Further Reading

The New York Times – “The Strange Case of the Madman with a Quote for every word

The Nation – “A Minor Exception: On W.C. Minor and Noah Webster

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary By Simon Winchester

BBC – Broadmoor’s Word Finder

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Meghan and Harry’s home once belonged to Queen Victoria’s secret Indian guru

Frogmore Cottage, Meghan and Harry’s new home, once belonged to a young man Queen Victoria addressed as ‘your loving mother’ and ‘your closest friend’. She even signed off some letters with a swirl of kisses! Victoria visited Abdul Karim, her teacher or munshi, at the cottage “every second day” and “never missed a lesson”, according to the writer Shrabani Basu. Mr Karim was just 24 when he arrived in England from Agra to wait at table during Queen...

Frogmore Cottage, Meghan and Harry’s new home, once belonged to a young man Queen Victoria addressed as ‘your loving mother’ and ‘your closest friend’. She even signed off some letters with a swirl of kisses!

Victoria visited Abdul Karim, her teacher or munshi, at the cottage “every second day” and “never missed a lesson”, according to the writer Shrabani Basu.

Mr Karim was just 24 when he arrived in England from Agra to wait at table during Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee in 1887. 

To the cook’s amazement, Abdul Karim strode into the kitchen and prepared the Queen a fine chicken curry, daal, and fragrant pilau. After that, Victoria decreed that curries be added to the daily menu, and the delicious scent of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg drowned out the reek of over boiled cabbage and mutton.

Coming out of the dining room one day, Victoria asked that Karim “speak to me in Hindustani, speak slowly that I may understand it, for I wish to learn”. She soon acquired a special scarlet morocco notebook in which she noted down Hindu phrases. She arranged for Karim to have an hour’s English lessons every day, so that he could converse with her.

Karim was promoted from table servant to clerk or munshi rapidly. Once he was elevated in 1888, all photographs of him serving her at table were destroyed.

Victoria gave him a vast tract of land in Agra as well as a furnished bungalow at Windsor (Frogmore Cottage) and cottages at Osborne and Balmoral.  Sir Henry Ponsonby remarked bitterly: “That damned Hindu has as many homes as she has”.

The queen’s munshi was named in court circulars, given the best positions at operas and banquets, allowed to play billiards in all the royal palaces and had a private horse carriage and footman. He was decorated with the high honour of the companion of the most eminent order of the Indian empire.

Mr Karim’s father even got away with being the first person to smoke a hookah (water-pipe) in Windsor Castle, despite the queen’s dislike of smoking.

When Karim went on leave to India, Victoria missed him, writing that he was “very handy and very useful in many ways”.

The Three Mrs. Karims

Karim soon brought over his three wives to Frogmore Cottage, though he wisely called two of them “aunties”. Victoria’s doctor, Dr. Reid, noted that every time he went to tend to an ill “Mrs. Abdul Karim”, a different tongue was presented to him.

If the royal household had disliked John Brown, now deceased 4 years, they loathed Karim. His sizeable salary of £991 (in 1901!), plus generous allowances, stirred up a heady mix of jealousy, racism and social snobbery.

By all accounts, Karim was high handed in his personal dealings, including the other Indian servants, who regularly complained about him.

Victoria may have enjoyed riling up her staff and family. One of her ministers, Lord Salisbury, observed presciently: “She really likes the emotional excitement, as being the only form of entertainment she can have”.

Karim started to make outrageous requests – including  “enormous quantities” of narcotic drugs, including morphine and laudanum, to his physician father. It was an amount of poison Victoria’s doctor Sir James Reid estimated to be enough to kill 15,000 men. 

Unless Victoria came to her senses where the munshi was concerned, Dr. Reid threatened that she would be declared mentally incompetent. A regency would be established by parliament, with her son Bertie as Regent.

In any case, Karim’s own self-publicising and his recurring bouts of gonorrhoea (which Dr. Reid related gleefully to the Queen) caused him to fade into the background for the last year of her life. 

Karim remained at court, but now he was as ornamental as her “gold eggcup and small golden spoon”. 

Barely hours after the queen’s funeral, her son Edward VII unceremoniously sacked the Queen’s munshi.  The family tried to erase every single proof of the Queen’s friendship.

Luckily, a branch of Karim’s family kept his diaries, detailing his extraordinary 10 years in London as Queen Victoria’s beloved teacher and friend.

Further Reading

Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman who Ruled an Empire

By Julia Baird

 

The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria

By Annie Gray

 

Victoria: A Life

By A. N. Wilson

 

Her Little Majesty: The Life of Queen Victoria

By Carolly Erickson

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Plucking Awful : The job of an ornatrix or hairdresser in Ancient Rome

A new hairdresser or ornatrix flowed into Ancient Rome every day. As the women flowed in, hair soared in up-dos and business boomed in hair care essentials like decomposed leeches, urine, and pigeon droppings. Positions in a wealthy household were specialised to an almost ridiculous extent. In one household, you might bump into a secundus or regulator of hot and cold water for a bath, a Eutactus or keeper of overcoats, and many, many vestiplici or folders of clothes. Even the position of...

A new hairdresser or ornatrix flowed into Ancient Rome every day. As the women flowed in, hair soared in up-dos and business boomed in hair care essentials like decomposed leeches, urine, and pigeon droppings.

Ancient Roman hairdo by skilled ornatrix

Business in the front, party in the back

Positions in a wealthy household were specialised to an almost ridiculous extent. In one household, you might bump into a secundus or regulator of hot and cold water for a bath, a Eutactus or keeper of overcoats, and many, many vestiplici or folders of clothes.

Even the position of ornatrix was subdivided. A tutolo ornatrix specialised in high hairstyles (a la Marie Antoinette).

One Statilius Taurus, consul in the year 765, had at least 370 servants.

This may be where the position of nomenclator (human version of the blackberry) came in to tell people the names of their own slaves!

Business in the front, party in the back

By Flavian times (50 AD), hairdos became great towers studded with jewels. Juvenal the poet made fun of one lady who piled her hair up high:

“From the front you would take her for Andromache, but from the back she isn’t so tall—you wouldn’t think you were looking at the same person!”

In those days, hair treatments required ingredients like decomposed leeches, urine and pigeon droppings.  To dye hair black, Pliny the Elder suggests applying leeches that have rotted in red wine for 40 days!

To color gray hair, the Romans used a mixture made from ashes, boiled walnut shells, and earthworms. Lead-coated combs dipped in vinegar left a useful dark residue on the hair.

The ornatrix’s skill gave her household status and some power. Ovid specifically advises women never to lash out against their hairdressers:

May your hairdresser be safe; I hate the woman who claws her maid’s face with her nails and stabs her arms with a snatched-up acus. She curses her mistress’ head while she touches it, and at the same time bleeds and weeps over the hated locks.

Sometimes, ornatrix was required to tear out her mistresses grey hairs one by one. No wonder that satires and jokes were full of mistresses on their last hair and cowering servant girls.

The epithets of beloved ornatrices tell us the dates of their death and the families by who they were employed.

Upset your mistress, though, and you might wind up in a curse table, like these ladies:

Agathermis, slave of Manlia; Achulea, ornatrix, slave of Fabia; Caletuche, ornatrix, slave of Vergilia; Hilaria, ornatrix, slave of Licinia; Chreste, ornatrix, slave of Cornelia; Hilaria, ornatrix, slave of Seia; Moscis, ornatrix, Rufa, ornmatrix, slave of Apelia; Chilia, ornatrix.

The Bald Mistress

Happy was the ornatrix whose mistress was bald!

Sometimes false hair was blonde (dyed from blending goat’s fat with beech ash), or ebony black. Cut hair was imported from India in such quantities that “capilli indict” was officially liable  for customs duty.

Popular anthropologist Desmond Morris explains what blonde hair represented. Roman prostitutes at the time were licensed, taxed and even required by law to wear blonde hair.

The third wife of the Emperor Claudius, the wild nymphomaniac Messalina, was so excited by the idea of sudden, brutal sex with strangers that she would sneak out at night clad in a whore’s wig and prowl the city.

When the fashionable ladies copied Messalina, the blonde hair/prostitute law was ruined but blonde hair never really got over its wicked reputation!

The ornatrix wasn’t done with hair. She still had to remove her mistresses superfluous hair (including eyebrows!) and paint her : whiten her brows and arms with chalk and lead, rouge cheeks and lips with wine or rust, and lace the eyes and eyebrows with soot.

Women weren’t the only ones having hairs plucked one by one. Seneca complained about the screams of bathers having the hair under their armpits plucked out by armpit pluckers!

 

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March 20, Alien Abduction Day. And we have Canada to thank for it.

March 20, 2019, isn’t just the first day of Spring. It’s also National Alien Abduction Day, also known as Extraterrestrial Abductions Day. This is a holiday dedicated to people who either want or expect to be abducted by an alien life form. Many point to Toronto as the source for Alien Abduction Day.  Thanks, Canada. Back in 2008, Toronto hosted an Alien Abduction Festival on March 20. Since then, the holiday has been celebrated on March 20. Must have been some Festival. Back in 2008,...

March 20, 2019, isn’t just the first day of Spring. It’s also National Alien Abduction Day, also known as Extraterrestrial Abductions Day.

This is a holiday dedicated to people who either want or expect to be abducted by an alien life form.

Many point to Toronto as the source for Alien Abduction Day.  Thanks, Canada.

Back in 2008, Toronto hosted an Alien Abduction Festival on March 20.

Since then, the holiday has been celebrated on March 20.

Must have been some Festival.

Back in 2008, the Toronto-based toy company Happy Worker hosted the one-day Alien Abduction Festival on March 20. The point of the event was to celebrate “all things extraterrestrial & sci-fi, for alien fanatics and creative types alike.”

Happy Worker didn’t take credit for creating the holiday, noting that it existed before 2008.

“Despite our extensive research, we don’t know who created the day or for what specific purpose,” a statement on the Happy Worker site reads. “But we assume it’s the special day chosen by our alien overlords themselves. Every year on March 20 they swoop down and select lucky humans from around the globe for a personal tour of their spaceships, along with the unique opportunity to take part in various exciting testing procedures.”

The event included free UFO rides, an “alien birthing room” and “tin hat tailoring.”

Betty and Barny Hill

America’s fascination with alien abduction stories is traced to the case of Betty and Barney Hill, whose papers are collected at the University of New Hampshire.

The couple claimed they were abducted by aliens in September 1961 in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. They were driving home in the middle of the night after a trip to Montreal, when they saw lights flashing from the sky.

They claimed they saw a large spacecraft, with two “bipedal humanoid creatures” inside. They tried to drive away but suddenly found themselves in the exact same spot where they saw the ship two hours later. They had no memory of what happened in those two hours.

According to the Boston Globe, the Hills later underwent hypnotherapy, which helped them remember the events. In 1965, their story was published in a Boston magazine and they gained national attention.

Barney died in 1969, but Betty lived until 2004 and became a prominent UFO researcher. Their story was told in the 1975 TV movie The UFO Incident with James Earl Jones.

Buggy and A Bogie

The November 19, 1896, edition of the Stockton, California, Daily Mail featured one of the earliest accounts of an alleged alien craft sighting.

Colonel H.G. Shaw claimed that while driving his buggy through the countryside near Stockton, he came across what appeared to be a landed spacecraft.

Shaw described it as having a metallic surface which was completely featureless apart from a rudder and pointed ends.  He estimated a diameter of 25 feet and said the vessel was around 150 feet in total length.  

These beings were 7 feet tall and very slender with small hands, fingers without nails, and feet that twice as long as normal and functioned similar to a monkey’s feet, according to Shaw’s description.

All of the beings carried with them a bag of some kind with a hose which they often stuck in their mouths, obviously to breath with. Although there was still some daytime left, the beings also carried with them egg-shaped lamps which glowed.

They approached from the craft while “emitting a strange warbling noise.” The beings reportedly examined Shaw’s buggy and then tried to physically force him to accompany them back to the airship.

The aliens were said to give up after realizing they lacked the physical strength to force Shaw onto the ship.  

They entered the hovering cigar UFO by springing up from the ground and above their craft, and then floated down into the craft through an unseen entry. Soon, the object flew away.

Shaw believed that the beings were Martians sent to kidnap an earthling for unknowable but potentially nefarious purposes.

This has been seen by some as an early attempt at alien abduction; it is apparently the first published account of explicitly extraterrestrial beings attempting to kidnap humans into their spacecraft.

 

In any case, Happy Alien Abduction Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post March 20, Alien Abduction Day. And we have Canada to thank for it. appeared first on Interesly.


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