History Schmistory: January 23. Last day in the China shop.

Engraving of the Battle of Zama by Cornelis Cort, 1567 [public domaine]

Engraving of the Battle of Zama by Cornelis Cort, 1567 [public domain]

971: In China, the war elephant corps of Southern Han are thoroughly defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops. The remaining disheartened pachyderms relocate to Middle-earth where they enjoy a more favorable size advantage.

History Schmistory: January 23. Mohawk Fever!

January 23, 1983: The A-Team debuts. Fashion takes note.

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!

History Schmistory: January 21. No Smoking Ladies!

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

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.


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!

History Schmistory: January 18. Alo-hoy!

1778: Famed explorer Captain James Cook serendipitously stumbles upon the “Sandwich Islands” (Hawaii.) On his second visit in 1779, he is killed by natives for sending back his pastrami on rye. Ironically during his time on the Islands Cook witnessed men being just that, cooked!

John Webber [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

John Webber [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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