The FRED Society
was founded in 1984, and still appears to be going strong. It's a kind of support group for people (mostly men) named Fred, designed to address the negative connotations associated with the name. That is, when people hear the name Fred, they tend to think of characters such as Fred Mertz (the bumbling neighbor on 'I Love Lucy') or Fred Flintstone. The Fred Society would like us to think of Fred Astaire instead.
There was Christmas Jones, sent to prison for debt in January 1815.
Christmas Allen (father and son), both charged with larceny.
And Christmas Crisp, who did six months for larceny in 1837. His son, Christmas Crisp Junior, appears to have been an honest man.
Perhaps being named Christmas was the 19th Century equivalent of having the middle name Wayne. [via Criminal Historian
Washington state's Saar Pioneer Cemetery
contains an unusual grave. It's the resting place of John C. Monster (1851-1890) and his child "Baby Monster" (1888-1889). I haven't been able to find any additional details about the Monster family. (via the Oddment Emporium
Strange job title.
'Shepherd of the Royal Anus' (neru pehut) was a title held by several court physicians in Ancient Egypt, including Ir-en-akhty (who lived during the First Intermediate Period
) and his predecessor Khuy. It could also be translated as 'Herdsman of the Anus' or 'Guardian of the Anus'. Here's a partial explanation
As in all ancient cultures, the doctor was part of the priesthood. Each physician was responsible for curing only one illness. The god-king was attended to by a host of medical practitioners, each specializing in one body part and bearing such titles as Royal Keeper of the Pharaoh's Left Eye, Royal Keeper of the Pharaoh's Right Eye, or Shepherd of the Royal Anus.
[Neru Pehut was] a title borne by physicians qualified to prescribe and administer medicines rectally. Herodotus frequently speaks of the alimentary canal: the Egyptians, he says, 'purge themselves, for their health's sake, with emetics and clysters." Diodorus Siculus, writing four hundred years later, echoes this observation, saying that 'in order to prevent sicknesses they look after the health of their bodies by means of drenches, fastings, and emetics.' Enemas were among the most common modes of treatment, employed several times a month for preventive purposes.
Swastika is a small town in Ontario, Canada. (wikipedia link
). It was founded in 1908, and got its name from a nearby gold mine. Then the Nazis went and adopted the swastika as their symbol, which made things a little awkward for the Swastika townsfolk. But despite pressure from the Canadian government, the townsfolk resisted changing the name of their town. After all, they had the name first! And so the town has kept its unusual name, to the present day.
Several pictures of Swastika from Steve Colwill's flickr account
. The Swastika Laboratories sounds a little sinister.
I might have mentioned it before, but I'm planning on getting married this summer. To that end, I've been browsing the web, looking for stories about wedding related disasters, hoping to learn from the mistakes of others. Just this evening I found a bit of advice that had not occurred to me - think about what your new name will be, especially if you are considering whether or not to hyphenate. And here's why.
Residents of the English town of Castleford in Yorkshire were probably delighted to hear that UK TV station Channel 4 was to film a documentary of the ongoing urban regeneration scheme, up until their local council decided to rename a local landmark ahead of filming. The popular local landmark had been known as “Tickle Cock Bridge” since Victorian times - probably due to its popularity as a trysting place according to one local historian – but prudish council members decided to put up signs for the more polite “Tittle Cott Bridge” for the cameras. However local objections have been so vocal that the officials have been forced to back down and restore the feature’s original “rude” name (Metro
And if you fancy taking a trip to Tickle Cock Bridge, why not make a grand tour of it and take in some more of Britain’s rudest place names (Telegraph
It’s always worth making sure you have plenty of the local currency on holiday, but for one German tourist this became more of a life-saver than a simple convenience. Dominik Podolsky was just riding the ski-lift back down in Hochzillertal in Austria as darkness fell when it was suddenly switched off, as it is every dusk, leaving him stranded. As temperatures dropped to minus 18° Celcius (0° F) Mr. Podolsky began to set light to whatever was to hand to attract attention, starting with paper napkins and some business cards before in desperation he was forced to set fire to his money. He had just burned his last euro when he was finally spotted by a cleaning crew and rescued (Orange
Perhaps he would have done better to visit the Swiss side of the Alps instead. If not on the mountains, at the very least he would have been better looked after in that country's brothels. Principally because, with an increasing number of elderly clients packing a well-known anti-impotence treatment, Swiss brothels are training their staff in the use of defibrillators in an effort to stop the pill-popping pensioners become clog-popping corpses. "Having customers die on us isn't exactly good publicity" said one sex-club owner. Funny, I would have thought the opposite was true (Telegraph
But trained as they may be, Swiss working girls will never have the edge on their American competitors. At least that’d be the conclusion you might draw from the results of a recent poll which placed America at number one on the list of countries with the most attractive people (Switzerland didn’t even make the top 20). So rejoice America, from the wild and wanton women of Walmart to the sultry street-girl sirens of Chattanooga, your beauty is unsurpassed (Herald Sun
I know you've had this thought at least once... you and your friends are sitting around, drinking a few brewskis (or shooters or whatever it is you drink). One of your friends says something completely off the wall and you think, "that'd be a great band name." Oddly enough, that is how some of the best known bands get their names. Other bands have their names chosen for them by record producers or managers (how boring). In the end, how a band gets its name seems to be as different from one band to the next as their various playing styles. Here is a comprehensive list
, in alphabetical order, of some of the most popular bands in recent history and where their names come from. I admit that the list itself is not particularly weird, but the way some of the bands ended up with their current names definitely is.
This is just one of the many strange inventions that Fuller imagined would improve society. Dymaxion, which is an abbreviation of dynamic maximum tension, was the name he attached to many of his inventions.
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