Paul Revere, We Don’t Need You to be Our News Source
“Paul Revere… he would just fill my news feed with ‘RED COATS ARE COMING! OMG!'” We all have that Facebook friend that seems to want to work as an anchorman on social media; always posting news articles or announcing news that everybody already knows. Of course, the legend of Paul Revere’s ride is actually misunderstood and greatly exaggerated. The story goes a little like this. In order to warn the colonists of Massachusetts that the British army was about to attack, Paul Revere rode his horse through the streets, shouting “The British are coming! The British are coming!” This timely warning allowed the colonists to be prepared for the attack and Paul Revere has gone down in history as a pivotal figure in the American Revolution.
Paul Revere was an important player in the American Revolution and he did warn the colonists of the British attack. But the details of that night have been significantly altered. Most of the blame for this lies with poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote a poem in 1860 entitled “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” bringing attention to an otherwise obscure historical event. While it is believed that Longfellow had an accurate account of the event from which to base his poem, he took considerable creative license in his retelling. Revere’s ride was actually prompted by Dr. Joseph Warren, who sent him to warn Concord of the impending attack, but also asked him to stop in Lexington to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that British troops were planning to arrest them (though this later turned out to be false intelligence).
Nostradamus Would be Downright Creepy and Have a Conspiracy Following
“Nostradamus: Always posting other people’s statuses, years ahead…” Of course, this would be a historical figure on social media that would probably gather a huge conspiracy following. Michel de Nostredame (December 1503 – July 1566), usually Latinized as Nostradamus, was a French astrologer, physician and reputed seer, who is best known for his book Les Prophéties, a collection of 942 poetic quatrains allegedly predicting future events. The book was first published in 1555. Soothsaying is a profitable venture if you can convince enough people that your fortune-telling skills are real. Nostradamus is probably the most famous example of someone predicting the future although, in this instance, it seems to be a case of reaching for a conclusion rather than the French seer actually getting things right. If you read his prophecies, you’ll soon realize that everything is so vague that you can glean almost anything you like for them. For example, he once wrote about “two steel birds” and fire in a big city which was interpreted as prediction about 9/11.
By 1554, Nostradamus’ visions had become an integral part of his works in the almanacs, and he decided to channel all his energies into a massive opus he entitled Centuries. He planned to write 10 volumes, which would contain 100 predictions forecasting the next 2,000 years. Nostradamus ran into some controversy with his predictions, as some thought he was a servant of the devil, and others said he was fake or insane. However, many more believed the prophecies were spiritually inspired. He became famous and in demand by many of Europe’s elite. Catherine de Medici, the wife of King Henri II of France, was one of Nostradamus’ greatest admirers. After reading his almanacs of 1555, where he hinted at unnamed threats to her family, she summoned him to Paris to explain and draw up horoscopes for her children. A few years later, she made him Counselor and Physician-in-Ordinary to King Henri’s court.
“One or two posts about music and everything else about poop. Dude had a fetish.” No, this is not made up. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 1756 – December 1791), an Austrian composer, widely recognized as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music really loved potty humor. Particularly in his youth, Mozart had a striking fondness forscatological humor(not so unusual in his time), which is preserved in his many surviving letters, notably those written to his cousin Maria Anna Thekla Mozart around 1777-1778, but also in his correspondence with his sisterNannerl and his parents. You know what? Let’s not even try to explain this to you. Let’s just show you the primary source letter we have from Mozart in correspondence with a friend. He really, really loved potty humor.
“Now I must relate to you a sad story that happened just this minute. As I am in the middle of my best writing, I hear a noise in the street. I stop writing—get up, go to the window—and—the noise is gone—I sit down again, start writing once more—I have barely written ten words when I hear the noise again—I rise—but as I rise, I can still hear something but very faint—it smells like something burning—wherever I go it stinks, when I look out the window, the smell goes away, when I turn my head back to the room, the smell comes back—finally My Mama says to me: I bet you let one go?—I don’t think so, Mama. yes, yes, I’m quite certain, I put it to the test, stick my finger in my a**, then put it to my nose, and—there is the proof! Mama was right!” Ew. What a weird but brilliant man.
George Washington Carver Would Obsessively Post about Peanuts
“George Washington Carver: All of his statuses would be about some d*mn peanuts.” George Washington Carver (circa 1864 – 1963) was undoubtedly the King of Peanuts. But he was so much more than that and many points of misinformation about this brilliant scientist. Some of George Washington Carver’s best-known inventions include crop rotation, or planting different crops to restore soil instead of single-crop farming, and creating 300 different uses for peanuts (which actually weren’t classified as a crop until Carver’s work). George Washington Carver created more than 300 products from the peanut plant but is often remembered for the one he didn’t invent: peanut butter. The agricultural scientist is often given credit for “discovering” something that was already there. In 1884, Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Canada patented peanut paste.
At a young age, Carver took a keen interest in plants and experimented with natural pesticides, fungicides and soil conditioners. He became known as “the plant doctor” to local farmers due to his ability to discern how to improve the health of their gardens, fields and orchards. Through his work on soil chemistry, Carver learned that years of growing cotton had depleted the nutrients from soil, resulting in low yields. But by growing nitrogen-fixing plants like peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes, the soil could be restored, allowing yield to increase dramatically when the land was reverted to cotton use a few years later. All of this success in crop rotation had an unexpected consequence: the overproduction of peanuts. Which caused Carver to look into the possibilities of peanut’s uses. In all, he developed more than 300 food, industrial and commercial products from peanuts, including milk, Worcestershire sauce, punches, cooking oils and salad oil, paper, cosmetics, soaps and wood stains. He also experimented with peanut-based medicines, such as antiseptics, laxatives and goiter medications.
“Stalin, so many paranoid posts and if you didn’t like them quick enough you’d sent to a gulag.” Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) was the dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1929 to 1953. Under Stalin, the Soviet Union was transformed from a peasant society into an industrial and military superpower. However, he ruled by terror, and millions of his own citizens perished during his brutal reign. Of course, his mind must have also been ruled by terror. He was notoriously paranoid. Many have actually speculated as to where his paranoid tendencies came from. And its roots could have been found in untreated mental illness.
Stalin left no room for opposition within his party. Whether a party member was truly a threat or not, Stalin left no room for contemplation. He simply nipped the perceived problem in the bud through swift extermination. “Personality and Foreign Policy: The Case of Stalin,” which appeared in the journal Political Psychology is an excellent source in understanding the theory that Stalin’s terrorizing behavior stemmed from paranoia. The author, Raymond Birt, explains that paranoia often begins during childhood in a situation in which the child feels both dependent on and threatened by the father. Stalin indeed experienced this situation with his drunken and abusive father. Birt claims his behavior while in power is indicative of a paranoid need to protect his narcissistic ego from external threats.
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