Yearly Archives: 2012

Phoenix is Arizona’s capital because a prostitute named Kissin’ Jenny swallowed a glass eye.

In 1889, Arizona’s territorial legislature was taking a vote on whether to keep the capital in Prescott or to move it to Phoenix. The vote was going to be close, so the delegates from Phoenix’s Maricopa county made a deal with a prostitute to delay one of the Yavapai county delegates, who would be voting for Prescott.

The delegate was one of Jenny’s regular customers and vain, and he wore a glass eye. So after the man put his glass eye in a glass of water and went to sleep, Jenny drank the contents of the glass, eye and all. In the morning, he refused to go out without his glass eye, and Jenny couldn’t give it back him, and he missed the vote. Phoenix won the vote by one.

Read the whole story from Jim Peipert. Also, Wikipedia. Via OMG Facts.

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George Washington didn’t have wooden teeth, but probably had some of his slaves’ teeth.

Contrary to legend, none of George Washington’s dentures were made from wood. They were mostly made from ivory, but he had at least one set made with human teeth. It used to be that poor people and slaves would sell their teeth to be used as transplants. Some of Washington’s slaves sold their teeth, and it seems likely that they sold them for their master’s use. From Frontline:

The following year, in May of 1784, Washington paid several unnamed “Negroes,” presumably Mount Vernon slaves, 122 shillings for nine teeth, slightly less than one-third the going rate advertised in the papers, “on acct. of the French Dentis [sic] Doctr. Lemay [sic],” almost certainly Le Moyer. Over the next four years, the dentist was a frequent and apparently favorite guest on the plantation. Whether the Mount Vernon slaves sold their teeth to the dentist for any patient who needed them or specifically for George Washington is unknown, although Washington’s payment suggests that they were for his own use. Washington probably underwent the transplant procedure–“I confess I have been staggered in my belief in the efficacy of transplantion,” he told Richard Varick, his friend and wartime clerk, in 1784–and thus it may well be that some of the human teeth implanted to improve his appearance, or used to manufacture his dentures, came from his own slaves.

Sounds pretty gruesome to me. In the president’s defense, his poor teeth were a constant source of pain for him. He brushed daily but still lost all his teeth. From Barbara Glover:

Toothaches followed by extraction would be a yearly occurrence for Washington. There were frequent episodes of infected and abscessed teeth, inflamed gums, and finally ill-fitting dentures. One can imagine that his reputed “hair-trigger temper” might have been the result of a constant battle with pain. He was continually corresponding with noted dentists of the day asking for a file to repair a denture, a scraper to clean his teeth or pincers to fasten wires on his teeth. He inquired about a dentist of “whose skill much has been said.” He requested material to make a model of his teeth so a dentist could make new dentures.

Via Freedom Rider and Reddit.

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Reverend Moon tells us that human sexual organs are concave and convex and that free sex should be eliminated.

The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, founder of the comically conservative Washington Times, has died. From David Weigel, here’s a video of him at the 15th anniversary of the paper, lecturing party-goers about sex.

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Infinitely-long poles rest in mid-air.

Infinity is weird. Imagine an infinitely large, flat plane. Now imagine a pole of some height that holds up one end of another pole — one that stretches infinitely far.

 Infinitely long poles rest in mid air.

If you were to let this infinitely long pole fall against the the ground, it would rest at precisely 90 degrees. That’s because if it were angle at all towards the ground, there would be a point some ways down the infinite pole that it would hit the infinite plane. Of course, you would never be able to see where it’s resting because of infinity and all, so instead, it would appear to float in mid-air.

From Futility Closet.

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The evolutionary advantage to believing in God: someone might be watching you.

Jesse Bering has an interesting explanation for belief in God as an evolved trait. Basically, it helps you if you feel like there is always someone out there watching you because sometimes there is.

From the Dish.

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Kim Jong Phil

 Kim Jong Phil

Phillip Toledano had a bunch of artworks of dictators recreated with him in the place of the dictator.

By Phillip Toledano, via Booooooom.

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Bill Nye: If you want to believe creationism, fine. Please don’t teach it to your kids.

Via the Dish.

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How to design a long-lasting public toilet

Cities that install public toilets run into obvious problems. People leave their garbage in them. Vandals break them. Homeless people live in them.

Portland has managed to deal with all of these problems by rethinking some basic assumptions about public toilet design.

1. Make it open to the elements: we’re talking bathroom stall, sans the bathroom. People walking by on the sidewalk should be able to see the peer’s feet and hear every little splish, splash, and sploosh in that potty. A comfortable, enclosed public bathroom is a bum’s living room, but an open-air crapper is just an open-air crapper.
2. No sink. Bums like to wash clothes in sinks. Instead, provide a spigot outside the stall with cold water.
3. No mirror. People like to break mirrors. It’s just a thing.
4. No nice, homey touches or comfortable detailing. Stainless steel all the way, with a graffiti-repelling coating. People can and will take bats to it; don’t make it easy on them.

From Discoblog and The Atlantic Cities.

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Ben Stein believes that God controls the weather and that you should make him your celebrity spokesperson regardless

Kyocera is an electronics company with a green reputation. They recently declined to hire Ben Stein after asking him his views on climate change. He’s now alleging breach of contract. Incidentally, there was no contract.

By way of response, Stein asked the agency to tell Kyocera that he was not certain that global warming was a man-made phenomenon as “he believed that God, and not man, controlled the weather,” because that is how you demonstrate to someone that you are rational. Yet somehow this did not assuage Kyocera’s fears, so they backed out of the deal, creating a storm of controversy not unlike those cooked up by God on a regular basis, up there in his weather whirligig.

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Clip art album covers

 Clip art album covers

Familiar album covers redone with clip art. Via Kottke.

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