If you’re a gambling man, you better believe in God. So suggested Pascal’s wager, one of the first applications of decision theory to philosophy.
Princess Alexandra of Bavaria was a noted author and translator in the mid-19th century. She also firmly believed that as a young child she had swallowed a grand piano made of glass.
Elementals are a common feature of modern bestiaries, video games, and RPGs. We have the 16th century alchemist Paracelsus to thank for thinking them up.
Mary and William Brewster, passengers on the Mayflower, had five children: Jonathan, Patience, Fear, Love, and Wrestling. Their descendants included Julia Child, Bing Crosby, Richard Gere, Katharine Hepburn, and Thomas Pynchon.
It’s my 200th post! Time to talk about the nature of proof, using 18th century literary hero Baron Munchausen and his horse too.
Many Buddhist scriptures include a list of games that Buddha would not play. It is the first list of games in history.
Peter the Great founded a drinking club when he was a young man. Because he was tsar, he took it too far.
If you kill someone because you think they’re a ghost, is it murder or manslaughter? Or self-defence?
In France, China, and Sudan you can marry a ghost.
According to 1917 Roman Catholic canon law, any newly discovered territory fell under the jurisdiction of the bishop of the “port of departure.” So, after the 1969 moon landing, was the Bishop of Orlando also the Bishop of the Moon?
In 1573 the Renaissance artist Paolo Veronese painted a Last Supper that included drunken Germans, dogs, parrots, and dwarfs. He liked it, but the Inquisition had other ideas.
Existential and spiritual crises seem to appear in the middle of the night – at least, according to various Catholic saints, poets, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sparklehorse and Danger Mouse they do.
Ever see a set of mushrooms growing in a near-perfect circle? Or an arc of dead or dark grass on a green field? Folklore calls it the elf ring or fairy ring, but it actually has a very reasonable biological explanation.
Up until the 15th century, you could apparently walk from India to Sri Lanka. Rama’s Bridge is a short chain of limestone islands and shoals with a very fraught religious and political history.
In Lebanon, political leadership and representation are officially divided up according to religious affiliation. This system, confessionalism, is supposed to encourage peace and cooperation between disparate faiths.