A Monsieur Chaban, in Paris, exhibited his astonishing powers of resisting heat, in so wonderful a manner, that the National Institute, and other learned societies, appointed delegates to view and inspect the performances, and to report thereon. Among other singular feats exhibited by this man, and reported to the National Institute, was his going into a common baker’s oven, with a leg of mutton in his hands, and remaining, in the usual manner, closed in until the mutton was completely dressed; another, that standing in the midst of a tar barrel, he remained therein till the whole was consumed to ashes around him. In 1818, he arrived in London, and publicly exhibited himself in Piccadilly, where he offered to repeat these last two exhibitions, before any number of persons, on being properly remunerated for the same; at the same time; he generously offered himself to the fire-offices and the public, in cases of calamitous fires, whenever they should be pleased to call on him, without fee or reward.
— Kirby’s Wonderful and Scientific Museum, 1820
If God can do anything, can he make a rock so big that he can’t move it?
n. burial alive
In 1887, president Grover Cleveland welcomed an old friend to the White House. Weary of the office, he said to the man’s 5-year-old son, “My little man, I am making a strange wish for you. It is that you may never be president of the United States.”
The boy was Franklin Roosevelt.
Mark Twain’s list of 27 items to be rescued from a boardinghouse fire:
“In either ascending or descending the stairs,” Twain wrote, “the young gentleman shall walk beside the young lady, if the stairs are wide enough to allow it; otherwise he must precede her. In no case must he follow her. This is de rigueur.”
1 × 9 + 2 = 11
12 × 9 + 3 = 111
123 × 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 × 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 × 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 × 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 × 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 × 9 + 9 = 111111111
Eight weeks ago, a terrier dog, in pursuit, so it is supposed, of a hare, was seen to fall into the shaft of an unwrought coal-pit, in Elswick-fields, near this town. Its howling was frequently heard, and many persons threw stones down, with the view of putting it out of its misery, but without effect. On Wednesday last, a mason of this town, prompted by humanity, sent down his boy, who brought up the poor sufferer, a mere skeleton; but by care it is recovering. When first brought up, it could not eat, but lapped water; which during the whole of the dismal period of its confinement (except the hare which probably fell in with it) must have been its only sustenance.
— Tyne Mercury, July 17, 1806
Fill one glass with wine and another with water. Transfer a teaspoonful of wine from the first glass into the second. Then transfer a teaspoonful of that mixture back into the first glass. Now, is there more wine in the water or water in the wine?
Most people will predict it’s the former, but in fact the two quantities will always be the same. Can you see why?
“It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.” — Aristotle