This Is Why Teens Generally Don’t Get to Choose Their Names

Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined George Garrett
In 2008 19-year-old George Garratt legally changed his name to “Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined.” He said he wanted to “be unique.”

Not to be outdone, these guys went a step further a couple of years later. 

They still didn’t match the complexity of this fellow, whose given name at birth may have lacked comic book references but surpassed everyone else as measured by mouthfuls. 

Military Genius and Mental Madness

Field Marshal Blucher delusions pregnant with elephant

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher rose to distinction in the Prussian military in his campaigns against Napoleon, earning the rank of Field Marshal.

He was also barking mad.

Blücher was paralyzed by fear for days at a time, perched in his chair, convinced that the French had made the floor too hot for him to stand upon. When he was forced to move from his chair, he danced from spot to spot, trying to stand on only one toe.

He also believed he had been sexually assaulted by a French soldier and as a result, he was pregnant and about to give birth to an elephant. His servants tried to mollify him by assuring him that it could be worse — he could have been raped by a French elephant, but nothing would calm his nerves.

Field Marshal Blücher had many fights with people only he could see, resulting in the destruction of a lot of furniture. When he was convinced that his head had been turned to stone, he pleaded with a servant to smash his head with a hammer.

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Was Tycho a Psycho? Weird Facts About One of History’s Greatest Astronomers

Tycho Brahe fun facts death nose drunk moose elk

Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was one of the greatest astronomers to ever live. He was also probably at least a little bit off his gourd, if history is to judge. The Danish astronomer who brought a new level of exactitude to astronomical observations and applied that specificity to the theories and observations of Copernicus and Ptolemy, guaranteed his place in history as one of the last “naked eye” astronomers, working without telescopes for his observations. Perhaps his genius as a man of science has helped him be remembered for something other than the following quirks: Continue reading

Hollow Pursuits

John Quincy Adams Hollow Planet

Who would believe that the earth is hollow and home to underground vegetation and animals? Such is the fantasy of science fiction, not of reasoned, rational minds, right? Certainly such notions would not be embraced by the President of the United States!

Or would they?

John Cleves Symmes circulated a flyer in 1818 in which he posited that the earth is actually a hollow sphere, containing a number of concentric spheres. He believed these strata could be accessed through openings at the northern and southern poles. Within these hidden worlds, Symmes’ believed one could find “a warm and rich land, stocked with thrifty vegetables and animals, if not men.”

symmes_circular
John Cleves Symmes’ flyer, seeking volunteers to find the openings to the worlds within our world.

Symmes’ claims were scorned by many, but he did capture the attention of more than a few people. Among them was none other that President John Quincy Adams. Symmes met with the President in 1828 and convinced him to lobby Congress for a publicly-funded expedition to the south Pacific in pursuit of one of the elusive openings to the underworld.

The House of Representatives was convinced — somewhat. It approved the sending of one US Navy vessel, provided it could be done within the existing budget. The Senate was less convinced and refused to approve the compromise measure.

Adams was not deterred and continued to push for the expedition. It was left to his successor, President Andrew Jackson, to put an end once and for all to what ended up being a hollow pursuit.

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Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean Everyone Isn’t Out to Get You

conspiracy theories, cia, conspiracies,

Label someone as a “conspiracy theorist” and you might as well be calling that person a “wacko,” “nut job,” or any other phrase that questions his or her rationality.

Of course, depending on who you talk to, you might find out that this is all part of the biggest conspiracy yet. Continue reading

When Insanity Campaigns, Undisguised

Screaming Lord Sutch lost forty elections

You have to admire someone who can go through the rigors of a political campaign, lose, and be able to shake it off and get on with life. What about a man who loses again and again and again?

David Sutch aspired to make a name for himself, so he legally changed his name to Screaming Lord Sutch, Third Earl of Harrow. Under that name he developed a following as a musician. He was known for his entrances where he was carried onstage in a coffin, used skulls for props, and dressed as Jack the Ripper.  Continue reading

Maintaining Propriety With Gentleman’s Gloves

President Theodore Roosevelt and French Ambassador Jules Jusserand
President Theodore Roosevelt and French Ambassador Jules Jusserand

One of President Theodore Roosevelt’s favorite pastimes was called “scrambles.” This activity involved point-to-point walks, where the participants were allowed to move forward only in a straight line. Upon meeting an obstacle, they could go over or through it, but never around. Continue reading