A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Hechos inútiles

Post 10061

Baron Grim

According to noted travel writer, the Welsh Village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch has been supplanted by Thai town of Krungthepmahanakornamornratanakosinmahintarayutthayamahadi-lokphopnopparatrajathaniburiromudomrajaniwesmahasatharnamornphimarnavatarnsathitsakkattiyavisanukamprasit.


I discovered this while reading about the Trinity of Tedium, the three sister towns of Dull, Scotland; Boring, Oregon; & Bland, New South Wales.

http://www.good.is/articles/trinity-of-tedium


Hechos inútiles

Post 10062

Icy North

The fizzy drink of choice in Colombia is 'Colombiana'. It's identical to the Scottish Irn-Bru:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellypop/5503097232


Hechos inútiles

Post 10063

Baron Grim

In 1943 there was a brief ban on sliced bread in the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sliced_bread#1943_U.S._ban_on_sliced_bread


Hechos inútiles

Post 10064

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Now, that titbit is the greatest thing since sliced bread. smiley - rofl


Hechos inútiles

Post 10065

You can call me TC

In German households, even more common than the electric kettle, but perhaps less ubiquitous than the coffee machine, you will almost always find a bread slicing machine. These days they are electric but in the 40s they were turned by handle (like, say, a sewing machine). I have one and use it for evenly slicing lots of things and couldn't do without it. If, like the lady in the wiki article, I had to cut 22 slices of bread each morning, you would be able to do that quite quickly with one of those, and the unused bread would not dry out.

Here is a picture of an antique one:

http://de.dawanda.com/vintage-weiteres/?gclid=CjwKCAjwlrnNBRBMEiwApKU4PGyo4p7RPbWJjKIgGM4oVIz0UWf0e98C-EZtsTptGkVzUdB-iujxChoC9fMQAvD_BwE&partnerid=de_GA2-PLA-C9&quick_view_product=114495375

Although, having thought about it, most households in the 40s were pretty impoverished, so bread was probably not even available for everyone.


Hechos inútiles

Post 10066

Dmitri Gheorgheni

I used to be fascinated by bread-slicing machines in German bakeries. smiley - smiley That and the Fleischwolf in the butcher's.


Hechos inútiles

Post 10067

Baron Grim

Robert Browning once wrote a poem in which he confused a vulgar term for a nun's hat (depending on your accent, it rhymes with hat... or not smiley - evilgrin).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pippa_Passes#.22A_distressing_blunder.22



Here's the humorous source where I discovered this factoid.
http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/browning
(includes alt-text and big red button)


Hechos inútiles

Post 10068

Baron Grim

The bones of over one dozen bodies was found in a pit in the basement of Benjamin Franklin's London home during a renovation in 1998.

http://historythings.com/skeletons-benjamin-franklins-basement/

These were likely the remains of cadavers used in the illegal anatomy studies of his friend and student, William Hewson, and almost certainly known to Franklin.


Nutzloses Wissen

Post 10069

You can call me TC

Here's a topical one. I was wondering why the Oktoberfest is always held in September. In 1828 a first attempt was made to bring it forward from its original date of 17 October, as the Munich weather was notoriously bad at that time of year and he Royal tent was frequently flooded, but this was refused because the fields where it was held weren't harvested yet. The weather that year,as in 1829, was particularly bad (in 1829 it snowed!).. Further attempts may have been made to bring it forward to the suggested 3rd Sunday in September but it wasn't made official until 1904 when it was fixed that the main Sunday should fall between 28 September and 4 October.


Nutzloses Wissen

Post 10070

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - eureka I have always wanted to know the answer to that. Danke vielmals!

This is also why the Autumn Leaf Festival in Clarion, Pennsylvania, starts in late September, although the leaves may not have turned...they're counting on that festival money. smiley - laugh


Nutzloses Wissen

Post 10071

Pink Paisley

The song 'America' from West Side Story, sung by the Puerto Rican migrants is actually written in a rhythm more closely associated with Mexican music.

Oh come on Mr Bernstien! You can do better than that!

smiley - laugh

PP.


Nutzloses Wissen

Post 10072

Baron Grim

Once I noticed the similarities between Polka and Mariachi/Tejano music, it improved my appreciation for both.


Nutzloses Wissen

Post 10073

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Germans and their brass instruments have much to answer for along the Rio Grande. smiley - laugh

Which reminds me of all the complaints when the Berlin Philharmonic couldn't manage to play Bernstein's 'I want to be in America...' correctly to save their lives...


Nutzloses Wissen

Post 10074

Baron Grim

Mozart composed an aria specifically for a prima donna he disliked. She had a noted mannerism of dropping her chin to her chest for low notes and tilting her head up for high notes. He filled the piece with alternating highs and lows to make her "bob her head like a chicken" on stage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cos%C3%AC_fan_tutte#Performance_history


Nutzloses Wissen

Post 10075

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Do you have a source for this chicken business, other than Wiki? smiley - bigeyes I'd really like to know, so I've been chasing this lady and Mozart around on the interwebs here.

I did find an analysis of Mozart's compositions for her - apparently he wrote the arias to appeal to her strengths, which were chest tones and extraordinary leaps, although she wasn't a good actress and was hired because she was having an affair with the librettist. But this scholar doesn't say anything about chickens:

http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1020&context=music_gradworks


Nutzloses Wissen

Post 10076

Baron Grim

It may indeed be apocryphal. From one of the Wiki's sources:

~~~~~~~~~~~
The aria may well have been Mozart’s own little joke. Some have claimed that Mozart incorporated parody in order to mock the original singers (Steptoe, 221). It is public knowledge that Mozart was not fond of Adriana Ferrarese, the first performer of Fiordiligi in the opera’s premiere, and some suggest the ridiculous range of the Fiordiligi’s music was designed to tease her. Others, however, claim that the acrobatic contour of Fiordiligi’s line was not so much a parodic display but rather, a reflection of her internal conflict. However, the idea that Mozart “was amusing himself at the expense of particular singers” (Steptoe, 222) is not widely supported. It seems more plausible that Mozart used the parody to underlie the irony in the drama of the libretto.

~~~~~~~~~~~

http://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/musicalofferings/vol2/iss2/1/
(on page 29)


Nutzloses Wissen

Post 10077

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Ah! smiley - eureka Thank you!


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