Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pomposity, STDs and Propaganda

Between QI and Mental Floss, it is a miracle I leave the house. Are you ready for a few trivia bits and pieces!?! 

It involves pomposity, STDs and propaganda. How could you go wrong!?! 

Powdered wigs became popular in Europe after what event? 

Hint? We're looking for an event that started late 1400's and really caught fire early 1500's. 

The initiating event would be the European syphilis epidemic which caused, among other symptoms, patchy hair loss and scalp sores. Wigs disguised some symptoms and increased the likelihood of additional sexual actives. Powder added some olfactory misdirection. 

The "Big Wigs" developed mid 1600's when the King of France and the King of England became afflicted. Cost and size skyrocketed. 

They lost popularity after a hefty tax on wig powder and the French Revolution. 

A side bit about syphilis? (Who wouldn't want to know about syphilis?) 

Syphilis came to Europe post Columbus voyage of 1492. Early on, it killed the afflicted in a rapid, mucus membrane rotting, dementia firestorm. 

A less virulent strain evolved because chances of shagging (and passing on the STD) increased if the host's nose was intact for a longer time. 

Where is the center of the universe?

Bank and Sixth Street, Wallace Idaho. It is true, because the mayor announced it in 2004.

His reasoning? Well, prove to it isn't. 

What was one of the most effective military propaganda campaigns? 

Hint? 200 years later there is still a complex named after the fabrication. 

How tall was Napoleon? Not 5' 2". He was actually 5' 7" which was taller than average. 

The British launched a series of very successful newspaper cartoons. 

An additional insult? Two of Napoleon's mistresses had affairs with the Duke of Wellington and publicly declared Napoleon um . . .  lacking.

One more tangential Napoleon bit? It's good . . . 

Prior to her marriage to Napoleon, Josephine was was a mistress of Napoleon's most important patron. (Did you follow that?) Her first husband suspected infidelity and wrote to her. "Kindly take yourself off to a convent as soon as you receive this letter."

An even older example of political propaganda? 

What leader was so unpopular, he was known by his subjects as excrement? 

Constantine V (Byzantine Emperor from 741 to 775) was more commonly known as Copronymus or literally "Dung Christened." The rumor was, as a baby, he soiled both baptismal font and royal priestly robes. Not a popular guy.  

A last trivial bit? 

How did the tea cup change the course of China's history?

Inner geek satisfied? 

For now? 

Me too! 

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