marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

One critic observed that in socialist realism, the only seasons allowed were spring and summer.

A 18th century Korean visitor to China observed that the only people who dressed in a civilized manner were stage actors and Koreans. Everyone else, barbarically, wore fur.

During the Pacific War, the South Pacific Island's ferocious jungles did not include any problems with predators, since the lack of grassland meant no large prey, though the marshes were infested with both fresh- and salt-water crocidiles.

In the 17th century, it was thought that only silver bullets could kill kings.

Chinese refused to believe that Chinese ginseng and American ginseng were the same thing. The Chinese kind grew in the land of tigers, and was visible only by night, when it gave forth flame. (It also had to be wild. The law's response to ginseng farming was to destroy the fields, all the plants, and the huts of those caught doing it.)

On Christmas Day, British army officers serve the enlisted men at mess.

English cottagers thought that apples and potatoes kept better if they grew near foxglove.

When the first Marines on Guadacanal were being relieved and set off to Australia for some rest, one asked what the smell was onboard ship. To have it pointed out that it was just clean air.

Silver is tarished by sulfides; this means a silver spoon can help detect arsenic sulfides -- that is, poison.

In Qing China, pilgrims needed a license to travel to the place of pilgramage -- which was a one-way pass. The authorities at the place needed to issue another one to allow them to go home again.
Tags: historical tidbits

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