Monthly Archive: November 2013

Edgar Allan Poe’s Eerie Prediction Of Murder And Cannibalism

In 1838, Edgar Allan Poe’s only novel, “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket,” debuted to a fairly lukewarm reception. Poe’s episodic tale was bashed for being overly violent and sensationalized. In one telling episode, a young man named Richard Parker is murdered and eaten by his fellow sailors to stave off hunger. Uncannily, fact followed fiction down to the details just a few decades later.

The Difference Between A Dolphin And A Porpoise

Dolphins and porpoises both belong to the Cetacea order of mammals, but they do belong to different families. In spite of a general similarity in shape and appearance, dolphins and porpoises have distinctly different features, such as the shapes of their fins and heads. They also vocalize in a very different manner, and demonstrate very different behavior patterns.

Steven Spielberg Technically Ended Slavery In Mississippi

Steven Spielberg has done a lot for the past few generations. Without him we’d have no “Schindler’s List,” “Indiana Jones” or “Jaws” … and slavery would still be legal. It’s true: Thanks to an oversight, Mississippi still hadn’t ratified the 13th Amendment at the start of this year – meaning slavery was still technically on the books. It was only when an academic became curious after watching Spielberg’s “Lincoln” that the mistake came to light.

The Mysterious And Elusive ‘Mahogany Ship’

The most treacherous coastline in Australia has claimed over 200 ships. All have been documented and accounted for — except one. Several sightings of an elusive vessel known as “The Mahogany Ship” in the 1800s have intrigued archaeologists for years. The mystery ship is possibly Portuguese, which means it pre-dates Captain Cook’s trip to the South Coast and has the potential to re-write the history books as to who made it there first.

The Pants Made Of One Piece Of Flayed Skin

If you think carrying a rabbit’s foot for luck is of questionable taste, necropants are right off the charts. Necropants are pants made of the skin of a friend who’s agreed to have their body flayed from the waist down, thankfully post-mortem. A part of Icelandic witchcraft, the wearing of necropants is supposed to bring the witch increased wealth.

The Difference Between Halal And Kosher Foods

Both Islamic and Jewish traditions include very strict dietary guidelines on what is acceptable to eat and what is considered unclean and unacceptable. While there are many similarities — pork and pork products are unacceptable for both — there are differences in how the meat portion of a diet is slaughtered and prepared. There are also many subtle differences in what whole foods are and aren’t allowed. For example, seafood is halal if it lives its entire life in the water, while shellfish are not kosher regardless.

‘Africa’ Is A Roman Name

Africa was not a name given to the continent by its inhabitants, but was instead a name created by the Romans. This most likely occurred during Rome’s wars with the North African empire of Carthage — either as a re-tooling of a Greek or Phoenician name, or as a result of an encounter with a North African tribe.

The Amazing Journey Of John Lennon’s Tooth

In the mid-1960s, John Lennon gave one of his extracted teeth to his housekeeper. She decided to keep the Beatle molar, where it stayed with her family until 2011, when a Canadian dentist snatched it up for close to $31,000. Between offering up shards of it for sculptures, and now submitting it for DNA sequencing in the hopes of eventually cloning Lennon, he is keeping the legacy of John Lennon strong, while also promoting oral health.