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Apr. 22nd, 2012


Secret language of women

The words nu shu literally means "Woman's Writing" in Chinese. As the name implies, Nushu is a writing system created and used exclusively by women in a remote part of China. Traditional Chinese culture is male-centered and forbids girls from any kind of formal education, so Nushu was developed in secrecy over hundred of years in the Jiangyong county of Hunan province.


Feb. 5th, 2012


Pig toilet

A pig toilet (sometimes called a "pig sty latrine") is a simple type of toilet consisting of an outhouse mounted over a pig sty with a chute or hole connecting the two. The pigs consume the faeces of the users of the toilet.

They are found in the Indian state of Goa, and are waning in popularity. The subsequent use of the pigs for food carries a significant risk for human health.

Pig toilets were once common in rural China, where a single Chinese ideogram signifies both "pigsty" and "privy". Funerary models of pig toilets from the Han dynasty (206 BC to AD 220), prove that it was an ancient custom. These arrangements have been strongly discouraged by the Chinese authorities in recent years; although as late as 2005, they could still be found in remote northern provinces. Chinese influence may have been the origin of the use of pig toilets in Okinawa before World War II.


Dec. 16th, 2011


Able Seacat

Simon was found wandering the dockyards of Hong Kong in March 1948 by 17-year-old Ordinary Seaman George Hickinbottom, a member of the crew of the British frigate HMS Amethyst stationed in the city in the late 1940s. At this stage, it is thought Simon was approximately a year old, and was very undernourished and unwell. Hickinbottom smuggled the cat aboard ship, and Simon soon ingratiated himself with the crew and officers, particularly because he was adept at catching and killing rats on the lower decks. Simon rapidly gained a reputation for cheekiness, leaving presents of dead rats in sailors' beds, and sleeping in the captain's cap.

The crew viewed Simon as a lucky mascot, and when the ship's commander changed later in 1948, the outgoing Ian Griffiths left the cat for his successor Lieutenant Commander Bernard Skinner, who took an immediate liking to the friendly animal. However, Skinner's first mission in command of the Amethyst was to travel up the Yangtze River to Nanking to replace the duty ship there, HMS Consort. Halfway up the river the ship became embroiled in the "Yangtze incident", when Chinese communist gun batteries opened fire on the frigate. One of the first rounds tore through the captain's cabin, seriously wounding Simon. Lt Cdr Skinner died of his wounds soon after the attack.

The badly wounded cat crawled on deck, and was rushed to the medical bay, where the ship's surviving medical staff cleaned his burns, and removed four pieces of shrapnel, but he was not expected to last the night. He did manage to survive however, and after a period of recovery, he returned to his former duties in spite of the indifference he faced from the new ship's captain, Lt Cdr John Kerans. While anchored in the river, the ship had become overrun with rats, and Simon took on the task of removing them with vigour, as well as raising the morale of the sailors.

Following the ship's escape from the Yangtze, Simon became an instant celebrity, lauded in British and world news, and presented with the "Animal VC", the Dickin Medal, as well as a Blue Cross medal, the Amethyst campaign medal, and the fanciful rank of "Able Seacat". Thousands of letters were written to him, so much that one Lt Stuart Hett was appointed "cat officer" to deal with Simon's post. At every port Amethyst stopped at on its route home, Simon was presented with honour, and a special welcome was made for him at Plymouth in November when the ship returned. Simon was, however, like all animals entering the UK, subject to quarantine regulations, and was immediately sent to an animal centre in Surrey.

Whilst in quarantine, Simon contracted a virus and, despite the attentions of medical staff and thousands of well-wishers, died on 28 November 1949 from a complication of the viral infection caused by his war wounds. Hundreds, including the entire crew of HMS Amethyst attended his funeral at the PDSA Ilford Animal Cemetery in East London. His gravestone reads:

MAY 1948 - NOVEMBER 1949

Simon is also commemorated with a bush planted in his honour in the Yangtze Incident Grove at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

In 1950, the writer Paul Gallico dedicated his novel Jennie to Simon.

Oct. 26th, 2011


The good Old days..

Disturbing 1950s safety manual for kids.
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there is more

Sep. 26th, 2011


Youngest person executed in the US in 20th century.

14 yrs. 6mos. and 5 days old.

George Junius Stinney, Jr.,

[b. 1929 - d. 1944]

In a South Carolina prison sixty-six years ago, guards walked a 14-year-old boy, bible tucked under his arm, to the electric chair. At 5' 1" and 95 pounds, the straps didn’t fit, and an electrode was too big for his leg.

The switch was pulled and the adult sized death mask fell from George Stinney’s face. Tears streamed from his eyes. Witnesses recoiled in horror as they watched the youngest person executed in the United States in the past century die.

Now, a community activist is fighting to clear Stinney’s name, saying the young boy couldn’t have killed two girls. George Frierson, a school board member and textile inspector, believes Stinney’s confession was coerced, and that his execution was just another injustice blacks suffered in Southern courtrooms in the first half of the 1900s.

In a couple of cases like Stinney’s, petitions are being made before parole boards and courts are being asked to overturn decisions made when society’s thumb was weighing the scales of justice against blacks. These requests are buoyed for the first time in generations by money, college degrees and sometimes clout.

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x-posted to wtf_inc

Sep. 17th, 2011


Bagpipe Warrior

In the olden days of war, it was traditional for the parts of the British Army that came from Scotland and Ireland to fight accompanied by a guy playing the bagpipes. By World War II, the bagpipes were restricted to rear areas, and even then it was to be limited to when nobody was doing anything of great significance or when a member of the royal family arrived somewhere. However, Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat, decided that those rules were for the English, and since he was Scottish (and at least slightly crazy), they didn't apply to him.

So, he ordered his piper, Bill Millin, to go ashore on one of the main landing points for the invasion of Normandy and wail on a set of bagpipes. Once on the beach, Millin calmly walked up and down at the water's edge, playing while carnage exploded and people died all around him.

After he had finished one tune, Lord Lovat (who was dressed in a monogrammed turtleneck sweater and armed with his grandfather's hunting rifle -- did we say he was insane already?) actually called out a request for another song, which Millin then played. After the beach was secured, Lord Lovat once again ordered Millin to play for the commandos inland so they could assault even more German positions to the sound of the pipes.

With other soldiers frantically gesturing at him to find some cover and just really having a war all over the place, Millin walked slowly and bolt upright, playing "Blue Bonnets Over the Border." Millin later talked to some of the Germans who had been captured to ask why they never shot him, and discovered it was because they thought he had gone mad.

And if anyone's harboring any ill thoughts toward Lord Lovat for basically risking his own man's life for what were ostensibly the most fuck-stupid reasons imaginable, it's probably important to note that Millin played the pipes at the Lord's funeral after his death in 1995. So clearly he was OK with the way things went. For some reason.

Sep. 6th, 2011



Birds in Space

For those who were not already aware, there have been avian embryo astronauts, as a result of a NASA project funded by Kentucky Fried Chicken and even feathered cosmonauts.

This is Inkubator-1 aboard Kosmos 1129/Bion 5 launched
in 1979 in a collaboration of Slovak and Soviet scientists.

Mission patch for "Chix in Space" on
which Col. Sanders is acknowledged.
The first attempt at this project ended
in the Challenger Disaster, tragically.

I had no idea that during the fall of socialism in Czechoslovakia, there was a guy in outer space handfeeding helpless quail chicks:

Jun. 1st, 2011

default black mage coke slurp


WWI Wierdness

During WWI, smoke and gas masks were in short supply, and there weren't enough for everybody in the trenches.
Even those that were supplied were uncomfortable, obstructed visibility, or weren't effective enough to even warrant wearing.

So instead, shortly after the first gas attacks were deployed on Allied forces, officers recommended that soldiers use strips of cloth like socks, scarves, old uniforms and sandbags soaked in urine and wrung out. These strips of cloth were to be tied tightly over the nose and mouth to allow unobstructed breathing. The urea in urine counteracted the chlorine of early gas attacks, but this method proved to be ineffective against the more sophisticated mustard and phosgene gases.


May. 29th, 2011


The 10 Most Insane Medical Practices in History


Children's Soothing Syrups
The Curative Powers of Mercury
Calm Your Cough with Heroin
Electrical Impotence Cures
Urine Therapy
Hard Core Diet Remedies
Female Hysteria Cures

Apr. 3rd, 2011


Mod Post

I turned off moderated posts. You guys can post freely.

However I still have moderated membership to avoid bots.

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