A dear friend and close colleague recently launched a surreal and satirical blog, DR. BOLI’S CELEBRATED MAGAZINE. In this venture he writes as Dr. H. Albertus Boli. Think of it as Tristram Shandy on wi-fi.
One of my favorite recurring bits is Dr. Boli’s Encyclopedia of Misinformation. Let’s see how long it takes for these things to end up on Snopes.
Ink, invisible. A very fine invisible ink may be made from ethyl alcohol, carefully evaporated before use. There is no means known to science of making the resulting writing visible.
Istanistan. Yaks outnumber people three to one in Istanistan, yet until 1998 no yak had ever been chosen prime minister….
Ketchup. Ketchup was originally invented as an industrial lubricant.
Lake Erie. Lake Erie is the only one of the Great Lakes to have had its own television situation comedy, which ran for thirteen weeks on the Dumont network in 1952.
Latin. That certain Latin nouns are regarded as “indeclinable” simply shows a want of effort on the part of the grammarians.
Legal pads. So-called “legal pads” were illegal until 1913.
Leibniz. The philosopher Leibniz believed that he could see monads, and frequently pointed them out to his puzzled acquaintances….
Napoleon. Napoleon kept a supply of Necco wafers, to which he was notoriously addicted, in the left inside pocket of his coat.
Newspapers. Newsprint paper in its natural state is completely black; newspapers are printed with a cheap and grainy off-white ink, with the black paper left showing through to form the letters.
Old Testament. In the original Hebrew, the entire Old Testament is one long palindrome.
Opera. In the early nineteenth century, when opera was still against the law, underground opera companies effectively controlled most of Sardinia.