Archive | totally true historical facts RSS feed for this section

In which I’ve got nothing.

26 Sep

I went to Small Press Expo in Rockville today! That was good times. I was going to make you a ~brilliant work of Photoshop art~ to illustrate some of the highlights of my day (wishing I had a flamethrower to use on other drivers; finding and replacing a blown fuse in my car and feeling all competent about myself for it; having someone cut in line in front of me to see Kate Beaton and then hearing that same someone complaining about all the people jumping the line; feeling really bad for Kate Beaton, who looked a bit terrified at the crowd; starting my day by getting up at four AM to take my father to the airport so he can go visit Hawaii for work), but I got up at four, so mostly I am thinking I will just kind of nap for awhile. Sorry, dudes! Have this instead.


I’m also sorry about the white text. Life is a series of miseries followed by the peace of the grave, my friends. At least you’re not getting stood up and having to watch your army dwindle?


In which berries abound!

24 Sep

Blueberries are apparently “mostly” native to North America, but I can’t figure out where else they might be native to from any Serious Historical Research (read: poking around on the Internet for awhile). They were apparently introduced to Europe, but that was in the 1930s, and Australia and New Zealand (1950s, and not successfully until the 1970s). They grow in South America, but my Serious Historical Research has not, thus far, yielded any results as to the history of their cultivation there, apart from Chile, where they were introduced in the 1980s. And in 1996 they were adopted as the official berry as Nova Scotia (as of 2008, they were Canada’s #1 fruit export)! But nothing more about South America. I am sorry for failing you, my friends. :(

I can tell you, however, that they were referred to as “skycolored berries” in colonial America, which is a fact that’s been floating around in my head for a few weeks now, and which delights me for reasons I cannot possibly figure out. Not gonna lie, I was mostly building towards that, and I felt like that wasn’t fact enough to support its own post. Whatever whatever. They were also frequently mistaken for the bilberry, which was native to England, and so were sometimes referred to as “skycolored bilberries”! In 1672, at least, they were frequently eaten dried, having been bought that way from the Indians, according to John Josselyn in his New England’s Rarities. Sad truth: I am not being sarcastic when I say that I think that’s pretty cool.

In which the jokes are mostly too easy.

22 Sep

Two things in my Google reader feed that made me laugh this morning:

  1. The Telegraph reported that Vikings were generally warned away from Scotland, because the weather was awful and the people were incomprehensible and scary.
  2. A whole bunch of new interviews with Bill Clinton are being released in a new book by Taylor Branch, the historian who conducted them! The Daily Mail has chosen to focus on stories about Boris Yeltsin’s drunken antics. I cannot really laugh too much at their “journalism” there, however: my response to seeing the first couple paragraphs of NPR’s article on the subject was “yeah, I bet you would need an ‘oral historian’ to write about the Lewinsky scandal, WHAT UP”. This was shortly followed by being sad that no one was around to high-five me for that. :(

In which I acknowledge how hard it is to distinguish these things.

21 Aug

As a Respected Historical Authority, I often get people asking me when it is appropriate to compare people to Hitler. “Jules,” people will say, “surely it must be appropriate to tell a gay Jewish Congressman that his party, in advocating health care reform, is in fact pushing Nazism on this country!”

The confusion is understandable; to all but the most expert of historians’ eyes, a bunch of Constitutionally-elected officials seeking input from the nation’s people in an attempt at pure Athenian-style democracy looks a lot like the suspension of civil liberties and discourse by a party aggressive to any “impure” person, to say nothing of how easy it is to confuse, say, proposed health care reforms with the systematic slaughter of millions of people!

So, as the fruit of years of intensive study, I humbly submit to the public this chart. I can only hope that I have effectively done justice to the many subtleties involved in making the distinction between people who deserve the term “Nazi” and people who don’t.

For multifunctionality, print out two copies. On the second, use white-out to cover “person” and replace it with “thing”, then cover “Hitler” and replace it with “Nazism” and/or “the Holocaust”. I would advise you to change the pronouns accordingly, but let’s face it, if you think Barack Obama is just like Hitler, I have my doubts about whether you know what a pronoun is, seeing as you think Barack Obama is just like fucking Hitler, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU.

You’re welcome.

Ben Gates ain’t got shit on me.

17 Feb

Okay, I admit: I just don’t have much in the way of any ideas today. Here, instead, is some trivia, and an art I made.




Dan Brown is actually crying because I found this out before he did. “No, Julia, you have to let me write a book about it,” he said. “NO WAY, DAN, THE PEOPLE DESERVE TO KNOW THIS FOR FREE, NOT IN A MASS-MARKET PAPERBACK OR MAJOR HOLLYWOOD MOTION PICTURE STARRING TOM HANKS AND PAUL BETTANY AND SIR IAN MCKELLEN,” I said, and you will notice that I use capslock to indicate the great passion I was speaking with. That’s how I roll, my friends.