Video Schmistory: January 22.

What do Darwin, Truman, Brahms, Queen Victoria and giant cheese all have in common? January 22, that’s what!

History Schmistory: January 21. Off with his head!

1793: After being found guilty of treason by the French Convention, Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine. A perfect excuse to roll out our Bastille video! Viva la France!

GO THERE! “Can I get this in large print?”

This ain’t no Photoshop! That’s right, the south wall of the Kansas City Public Library displays 22 GIANT mylar book spines up to 25 feet tall. As of yet, none are available for checkout.

History Schmistory: January 21. No Smoking Ladies!

January 21, 1908. NYC says NO to women smoking in public.

GO THERE! Scandinavian Subterranean Art!

Warning: If you take a trip to Stockholm, you may never leave the subway. It is, after all, the longest art exhibit in the world

History Schmistory: January 20. Prez-time for Ronzo!

1981: At age 69, Ronald Reagan becomes the oldest man ever to be inaugurated as US President. Today, he remains history’s only US President to have ever starred in a movie with a monkey…

Note: We are aware that chimps are not actually monkeys, but it just sounds funnier.

History Schmistory: January 20. Go South!

January 20, 2007. Heart of Southern Pole Reached on Skis!

History Schmistory: January 19. Under the Neon Lights!

1915: The Neon Tube sign is patented by Georges Claude, and later exploited by Las Vegas.
-So, you might already know that neon is one of the “noble” gases of the periodic table, which glows an orangey-red color when electrons run through it. But what about all the other colors on a typical “neon” sign? Well, sorry to say, those aren’t neon. To get shades of blue, typically argon is used with a dash of mercury. Helium can be used for a nice pink glow; xenon radiates a cool purple, while krypton yields- what? Green, you say? Nope, sorry Superman, it has more of an off-white tinge. From there, certain gases can mingle to produce colors like green and yellow, or sometimes the tubes are coated with fluorescent powders to tweak the shading. But neon typically doesn’t play nicely with others, so it’s only used to produce that one color.
(Check out Vegas Vic’s scarf. There’s your neon.)

There is another noble gas that wasn’t invited to the party: Radon. That stuff is radioactive, yo.

Modern_vegas_vic_souvenirs

Vegas Vic,By  Joe Gauder [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

History Schmistory: January 19. Under-where?

January 19, 1935. Introducing Tightey-Whities!

Cryptozoology Break: The Unicorn

unicorn-245642_640Who knows exactly how the unicorn was gradually ascribed its girly connotation… Possibly it started in medieval times when it was believed that the unicorn could be tamed by only the purest of maidens. Regardless, the legend of the unicorn goes waaaaay back, much much further than She-Ra and My Little Pony. Archeologists have discovered depictions of a one-horned-horsey-creature on cave walls dating back to the Paleolithic era, around 14,000 BC. In many forms, the unicorn pops up in folklore across nearly every ancient region you can think of, often as a creature to be feared. From the Nordics to the Middle East to Africa to the Far East, the unicorn has donned many names and a variety of manifestations: Dragon-like, larger than an elephant, glowing red eyes,  glowing blue eyes, with the body of a bull, the hooves of a deer, the tail of a lion, the beard of a goat; faster than a wildebeest, more ferocious than a tiger, and more elusive than Cleopatra on roller skates; while its trademark horn runs the gamut from short and black to long, sharp and super-sparkly. Famed writers throughout history have avowed the unicorns existence, from Aristotle to Pliny the Elder to Confucius to Genghis Khan to Julius Caesar to the dudes who wrote the Bible! Even Marco Polo swears he saw one while traveling the Silk Road, though we’re pretty sure it was just a Rhinoceros. (Don’t tell him we said that.) So what do you think? Could they have possibly existed? Or are we just beating a dead unicorn. HA HA HA! In any event, we think it’s time to bring the unicorn back to a place of gender-neutral allurement…

THIS JUST IN: Unicorn poop is apparently rainbow colored and tastes delicious…

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