in_stead: (big bright ideas)
A brief historical note:

Matches were invented in 1827 by John Walker, a pharmacist. He called them "sulphuretted peroxide strikeables" and his version of them were a yard long. Not quite as helpful as they could be. Fortunately, his invention was very quickly stolen by Samuel Jones of the Strand, who first sold it as a "Lucifer" in 1829.

Lucifer matches stuck around for a while. There was a British song through both World Wars that went:

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile.
While you've got a Lucifer to light your fag, smile, boys, that's the style.

Lucifer matches, however, contained poisonous phosphorus and a sugar preservative and several children died a year from sucking on them.

So now you know.
in_stead: (math)
I am preparing to leave the house under my own power (being carried out does not count) in over a week. I am starting physiotherapy up at the hospital and my first appointment is this afternoon. I am slightly frightened of the outside world omg looking forward to it.

In other news, for no apparent reason, I have been overdosing on science websites of late. I have learned many interesting things. For example, the Big Bang? Probably made a sound that was more like a deep hum. There's an audio file. Other sounds of space may be heard here.

Oh so cool.

Also this morning, I made a cake. I am concerned that the icing is too sweet, though. The cake itself turned out great. Go me.
in_stead: (rain on the thames)
Last night, [ profile] mcee and I joined my family in what was essentially Christmas Dinner Redux -- one of my mother's friends came over and, given that we had two guests for dinner, my mother felt that was reason enough to roast chickens and make stuffing and candied yams and beets and things. As well, much wine was consumed.

After kitchen cleanup, [ profile] mcee and I retreated to my room where we gave our collective geek a good workout. We played internet for a while, then read up to "N" on the Wikipedia list of common latin phrases and their english translations. After that, we watched the Buffy musical episode.

Now there will be diner breakfast, King Kong, and laying in supplies for tonight. The supplies will consist of:
- wine
- bread
- cheese
- cake
- fresh ginger root
- movies

I wish everyone an enjoyable last day of 2005!
in_stead: (Default)
Good morning. I have had only 5.5 hours of sleep. Also, we broke our coffee pot yesterday and there is no coffee for me. Also, I have a presentation today.

Today's word of the day from is "tmesis" -- the seperation of parts of a compound word for either humour or effect. To wit: "abso-fucking-lutely" or "in two words -- im possible!"

Today's word of the day from OED is "toddle" -- to play or toy with, to walk with unsteady steps, to walk leasurely. Its origins are northern English and Scottish and first appeared in writing in the early 1500s.
in_stead: (Default)
Also, although I never realised it before just now, I think that Liam Neeson has always been the voice of Aslan in my head.

In other news, I have a gym presentation today. My partner and I are organising the class to play a simple game involving beanbags and hula hoops. Of course, because both my partner and myself are the sort of people who like to take simple things and make them very, very, very complicated for ourselves, we decided to recast the game as a little bit The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and have made up signs (Whoville, population: 37) and cards with candycanes in them and a number of other crafty things that set the scene.

Also, I bought new sweatpants to wear to present in so that I will be pretty.

In other other news, the Oxford English Dictionary word of the day is "lob" -- generally, to toss something or something heavy, clumsy, or loosely pendulous, believed to perhaps be onomatopoeic in origin.
in_stead: (Default)
On May 25, 1850, the first hippopotamus to be seen in Europe since Roman times arrived at the London Zoo. He was a year old and was called Obaysch.

Aren't you glad you know that?
in_stead: (newspaper)
More history of little things:

The first English language dictionary was written in 1604 by Robert Cawdrey, who titled his book A Table Alphabeticall. The book was styled after the translation guides published for travellers, which translated English to French or Italian or Spanish or what have you. Cawdrey's book translated English into plain English and was intended to help people master the influx of fancy Latin, Greek, French, etc. words into the English language.

The Table Alphabeticall consisted of 2543 words. The first word of the table was Abandon, which Cawdrey defined as "cast away, or yeelde vp, to leaue or forsake." There were no entries for J, K, U, W, X, or Y.
in_stead: (allegretto)
In 1752, the first eraser was put onto the end of a pencil.

In case anyone was curious.
in_stead: (the great london escape)
I had always thought that whole "information superhighway" thing was probably just something that kids told their grandparents so that they never had to confess that the internet was really all porn and online shopping...for porn.

This evening, however, I needed to know the date of Whit Sunday and Monday in 1885. Stead, bless his heart, figured that saying "I commenced my investigation on the Saturday before Whit Sunday" was good enough.

So I opened up and punched in "Whit Sunday 1885," and lo and behold: In 1885, Whit Sunday fell on May 24th.

The Internet: Not Just Porn
(But Mostly)


in_stead: (Default)

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

July 2013

 12345 6
Page generated 20 September 2017 06:05 pm