Yet another 50 interesting Wikipedia articles

Tijuana bible

See #10.

  1. Schmidt Sting Pain Index.”Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel.”
  2. Spirit of Ecstasy. The reason for the secrecy was Eleanor’s impoverished social and economic status, which was an obstacle to their love… She died on 30 December 1915, going down with the SS Persia, when the ship was torpedoed off Crete by a German submarine.
  3. Pintupi Nine. They are sometimes also referred to as “the lost tribe”.
  4. Devil’s Town. It features 202 exotic formations described as earth pyramids or “towers”, as the locals refer to them.
  5. 2012 phenomenon. It will somehow create a combined gravitational effect between the Sun and the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, thus creating havoc on Earth.
  6. Eschatology. History is often seen as being divided into “ages”… So, instead of “the end of the world” we may speak of “the end of the age” and be referring to the end of “life as we know it” and the beginning of a new reality.
  7. Silbo Gomero language. When this unique medium of communication was about to die out in the late 20th century, the local government required all Gomeran children to study it in school… It now has official protection as an example of intangible cultural heritage.
  8. Garum. Garum appears in most of the recipes featured in Apicius, a Roman cookbook, which also offers a technique to render palatable garum that had gone bad.
  9. Language of flowers. The nuances of the language are now mostly forgotten, but red roses still imply passionate, romantic love and pink roses a lesser affection; white roses suggest virtue and chastity and yellow roses still stand for friendship or devotion.
  10. Tijuana bible. Also known as bluesies, eight-pagers, gray-backs, Jiggs-and-Maggie books, jo-jo books, Tillie-and-Mac books, two-by-fours, and fuck books.
  11. List of animals with fraudulent diplomas. George, a cat… was registered with three professional organisations… securing George’s accreditation as a hypnotherapist.
  12. Proprioception. This remarkable proprioceptive reflex, in the event that the body tilts in any direction, will cock the head back to level the eyes against the horizon. This is seen even in infants as soon as they gain control of their neck muscles.
  13. Hell. The geography of Hell is very elaborately laid out in this work, with nine concentric rings leading deeper into the Earth and deeper into the various punishments of Hell, until, at the center of the world, Dante finds Satan himself trapped in the frozen lake of Cocytus.
  14. Pulp magazine. The collapse of the pulp industry changed the landscape of publishing because pulps were the single largest sales outlet for short stories. Combined with the decrease in slick magazine fiction markets, writers attempting to support themselves by creating fiction switched to novels and book-length anthologies of shorter pieces.
  15. List of commonly misused English words. Something is ironic if it is the opposite of what is appropriate, expected, or fitting… It is ironic that Alanis Morissette wrote a song called ‘Ironic’ with many examples, not one of which is actually ironic.
  16. Ornithopter. Birds inspired Leonardo da Vinci when he designed his ornithopter in 1490. He never saw his dream of flight take place because his ornithopter was too heavy and required too much energy to produce lift or thrust.
  17. High Altitude Platforms. A HAP differs from other aircraft in the sense that it is specially designed to operate at a very high altitude… and is able to stay there for hours, even days. The new generation of HAPs, however, will expand this period to several years.
  18. Mystery airship. Early citations of the extraterrestrial hypothesis, all from 1897, include the Washington Times, which speculated that the airships were “a reconnoitering party from Mars”; and the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, which suggested of the airships, “these may be visitors from Mars, fearful, at the last, of invading the planet they have been seeking.”
  19. Samael. One of Samael’s greatest roles in Jewish lore is that of the angel of death. He remains one of the Lord’s servants even though he appears to want men to do evil.
  20. Seven Heavens. The seven heavens are the seven layered realms of the spiritual celestial sphere or the upper world where generally angels and other spiritual beings such as Paradise and Hell or the souls of the prophets exist.
  21. Nephilim. The Nephilim are said to be the offspring of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men.” Traditions about the Nephilim being the offspring of unions between angels and humans are found in a number of Jewish and Christian writings.
  22. Uncontacted peoples. The Sentinelese continue to actively and violently reject contact. They live on North Sentinel Island, a small and remote island which lies to the west of the southern part of South Andaman Island. They are thought to number around 250.
  23. Mesoamerican literature. Often however the mythological narratives are mistaken for historical accounts because of the lack of distinction between myth and history in Mesoamerican cultures.
  24. Flood myth. The Greeks hypothesized that Earth had been covered by water several times, noting seashells and fish fossils found on mountain tops as evidence.
  25. Ring of Gyges. He discovered that the ring gave him the power to become invisible by adjusting it… Arriving at the palace, Gyges used his new power of invisibility to seduce the queen, and with her help he murdered the king
  26. Orrery. They are typically driven by a clockwork mechanism with a globe representing the Sun at the centre, and with a planet at the end of each of the arms.
  27. Lightning Bird. It is a vampiric creature associated with witchcraft which was often the servant or familiar of a witch or witch doctor, attacking the witch’s enemies. It is said to have an insatiable appetite for blood.
  28. Tennin. They are usually pictured as unnaturally beautiful women dressed in ornate, colorful kimonos (traditionally in five colors), exquisite jewelry, and flowing scarves that wrap loosely around their bodies. They usually carry lotus blossoms as a symbol of enlightenment.
  29. Erebus. Erebus was later depicted as a material region, the lower half of Hades, the underworld. It was where the dead had to pass immediately after dying. Charon ferried the souls of the dead across the river Acheron, or in later texts the river Styx, upon which they entered the land of the dead.
  30. Orphan Train. When the movement began, it was estimated that 30,000 orphaned or abandoned children were living on the streets of New York City. Many were sent west to find families and new homes, on trains that became known as “orphan trains”.
  31. Luck. If “good” and “bad” events occur at random to everyone, believers in good luck will experience a net gain in their fortunes, and vice versa for believers in bad luck.
  32. Voynich manuscript. Since the manuscript’s alphabet does not resemble any known script, and the text is still undeciphered, the only useful evidence as to the book’s age and origin are the illustrations.
  33. Nāga. A female nāga is a nāgī or nāginī.
  34. Alicorn. In some modern fiction and art, an alicorn is a winged unicorn.
  35. Fairy chess piece. One of the most popular fairy chess riders is the nightrider, which can make an unlimited number of knight moves.
  36. List of names for the biblical nameless. Of the six unnamed archangels, Michael is named in the Book of Daniel, and Gabriel is named in the Gospel of Luke.
  37. Trysting Tree. Many trees have through their isolation, appearance or position been chosen as popular meeting places for young courting couples, soldiers called to gather at a distinctive venue prior to battle, etc.
  38. Secret societies in popular culture. The Cult of Gozer or “Gozer worshippers”, is a secret society in New York City followed by at least 1000 people in the 1920s.
  39. Pineal gland. Historically, its location deep in the brain suggested to philosophers that it possessed particular importance. This combination led to its being a “mystery” gland with myth, superstition and occult theories surrounding its perceived function.
  40. Apocrypha. Augustine defined the word as meaning simply “obscurity of origin,” implying that any book of unknown authorship or questionable authenticity would be considered as apocrypha.
  41. John Titor. He made numerous predictions (a number of them vague, some quite specific) about events in the near future, starting with events in 2004. However, as of 2011, these events appear not to have taken place.
  42. Many-worlds interpretation. Occam’s Razor rules against a plethora of unobservable universes — Occam would prefer just one universe.
  43. Classifications of fairies. A fairy belonging to this court will avenge insults and could be prone to mischief.
  44. Bluestocking. It was applied primarily to intellectual women, and the French equivalent bas bleu had a similar connotation. The term later developed negative implications, and in some instances such women were stereotyped as being “frumpy”.
  45. Spite house. The Skinny House in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts is an extremely narrow four-story spite house reported by The Boston Globe as having the “uncontested distinction of being the narrowest house in Boston”.
  46. Traveller’s dilemma. These experiments fail to show that either the majority of people use purely rational strategies, or that they would be better off financially if they did.
  47. Guess 2/3 of the average. This game illustrates the difference between perfect rationality of an actor and the common knowledge of rationality of all players.
  48. Emperor Ai of Han. Emperor Ai was highly controlled by his grandmother Consort Fu, who improperly demanded the title of Grand Empress Dowager – even though she had never been an empress previously and therefore did not properly have that title.
  49. Tulpa. The term comes from the works of Alexandra David-Neel, who claimed to have created a tulpa in the image of a jolly, Friar Tuck-like monk which later developed a life of its own and had to be destroyed.
  50. List of company name etymologies. The pen company was named after one of its founders, Marcel Bich. He dropped the final h to avoid a potentially inappropriate English pronunciation of the name.

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Sam Downing


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