Fires in California

So I was going to relaunch Factoid Fridays today, but with the status of the wildfires in California, I think I’d rather use this space to bring up some resources for how those away from the fires can help firefighters and evacuees. I’ve set up a carrd of resources, as well as some background informationContinue reading “Fires in California”


The oldest known board game is the Egyptian game Senet. It is thought that the game was seen as a connection between the worlds of the living and the dead, with art from tombs showing the deceased playing Senet against their still-living friends and family Sources: Science MagImage Source: Wikimedia Commons (public domain image)

Modern New Years

The modern celebration of the New Year on January 1st dates back to the days of Julius Caesar, who changed the celebration of the new year from the Spring Equinox in March to January 1st in honor of the Roman god Janus. Janus was the god of change & beginnings, and was always depicted withContinue reading “Modern New Years”

Libreria Acqua Alta

To protect the books from the fluctuating water levels that regularly flood the building, Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy, stores its books in waterproof containers including a bathtubs and a gondola. Sources: Atlas Obscura

Ether, Early Anesthesia

Ether was first used as a general anesthesia by Dr Crawford Williamson Long in 1842, when he used it as an anesthetic before a surgery to remove a tumor from a patient’s neck. Ether was soon beat out by chloroform as the anesthesia of choice during the Civil War. Sources: History

Stingy Jack

The original Jack-o-Lanterns were made from turnips and beets. They come from an Irish legend about Stingy Jack, who tricked the Devil and kept him hostage using crosses, promising to release the Devil if he would not take his soul to Hell with him. The Devil agreed, and when Stingy Jack died, he could notContinue reading “Stingy Jack”


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