Category Archives: ephemera

Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication

It took three years to design, and another five years to manufacture the watch, which was delivered to Henry Graves on January 19, 1933. The Supercomplication was the world’s most complicated mechanical timepiece for more than 50 years, with a total of 24 different functions.

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Varangian Guard

The Varangian guards’ loyalties lay with the position of Emperor, not the man that sat on the throne. This was made clear in 969 when the guards failed to avenge the death by assassination of Emperor Nikephoros II. A servant had managed to call for the guards while the Emperor was being attacked, but when they arrived he was dead. They immediately knelt before John Tzimiskes, Nikephoros’ murderer and hailed him as Emperor. “Alive they would have defended him to the last breath: dead there was no point in avenging him. They had a new master now.”

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One-Electron Universe

I received a telephone call one day at the graduate college at Princeton from Professor Wheeler, in which he said, “Feynman, I know why all electrons have the same charge and the same mass” “Why?” “Because, they are all the same electron!”

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Netocracy

Alexander Bard describes a new underclass called the consumtariat, a portmanteau of consumer and proletariat, whose main activity is consumption, regulated from above. It is kept occupied with private problems, its desires provoked with the use of adverts and its active participation is limited to things like product choice, product customization, engaging with interactive products and life-style choice.

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Muggletonianism

The Devil, on the other hand, should not be likened to a character from a Ben Jonson play. When the one reprobate angel was tossed from heaven to earth, he perished, but not before impregnating Eve so that Cain was born to perpetuate his frustrated rage upon this earth.

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Susannah

This tapestry captures the moment when Susannah is accused of adultery by the two iniquitous Elders.

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Chesty Puller

Once he came upon a second lieutenant who had ordered an enlisted man to salute him 100 times for missing a salute. Puller told the lieutenant, “You were absolutely correct in making him salute you 100 times, lieutenant, but you know that an officer must return every salute he receives. Now return them all, and I will keep count.”

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Gobelins Manufactory

The Gobelins were a family of dyers who, in the middle of the 15th century, established themselves in the Faubourg Saint-Marcel, Paris, on the banks of the Bièvre.

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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

By directing the magnetic field pulse at a targeted area of the brain, one can either depolarize or hyperpolarize neurons.

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Sanxingdui

The Sanxingdui Culture was a mysterious civilization in southern China.

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Judith Leyster

Although well-known during her lifetime and esteemed by her contemporaries, Leyster and her work became largely forgotten after her death. Her rediscovery came in 1893, when it emerged that a painting admired for over a century as a work of Frans Hals had actually been painted by Leyster.

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Neuromarketing

Zaltman theorised a technique called ZMET; this involved using visual representations to help uncover underlying and deep thoughts within a person. With the use of ZMET, Zaltman aimed to make powerful, emotionally completing advertising.

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Propaganda Due

Propaganda Due was a Masonic lodge founded in 1945 that, by the time its Masonic charter was withdrawn in 1976, had transformed into a clandestine, pseudo-Masonic, ultraright organization.

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Gelotophobia

Gelotophobia is a fear of being laughed at. Titze observed a specific movement pattern among them when they thought they were being laughed at—awkward, wooden movements that resembled those of wooden puppets.

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Dysphemism

Bad or taboo words for many things far outnumber the “good” words. Hugh Rawson notices in his book Wicked Words that when looking at Roget’s International Thesaurus, there are “…89 synonyms for drunk, compared to 16 for sober, and 206 for bad person compared to 82 for good person.

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Leprosy Colony Money

Leprosy colony money was special money which circulated only in leprosy sanatoriums (leper colonies) due to the fear that the leprosy bacteria would infect other people.

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Incense Clock

The clocks’ bodies are effectively specialized censers that hold incense sticks or powdered incense that have been manufactured and calibrated to a known rate of combustion, used to measure minutes, hours, or days.

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Visual Release Hallucinations

Visual release hallucinations are the experience of complex visual hallucinations in a person with partial or severe blindness.

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Operation Earnest Voice

Operation Earnest Voice is an astroturfing campaign by the US government. The aim of the initiative is to use sockpuppets to spread pro-American propaganda on social networking sites based outside of the US.

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The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

Our ancestors gave vent to their feelings in a way that we would be ashamed of, and their range of feeling seems to have been in some degree more limited. The language of the countenance, like that of the tongue, has been enriched in the process of the suns….

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