How long would it take to study the whole Talmud, one page a day? Seven and a half years… and it’s best to begin tomorrow.
A New Year tradition from Scotland says the first person to enter your house in the new year dictates your fortunes for that year.
What is it about this time of year and the number twelve? In Spain and countries culturally connected to Spain, twelve grapes is a New Year tradition.
Is Christmas Day the twelfth day of Christmas or the first? And why does it cost US$170,298.03?
A Christmas Eve parlour game played in Victorian England involved grabbing burning raisins with your hands and eating them while they were still alight.
Certain holy sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem cannot be changed without agreement from the many local denominations. As a result, a ladder has been propped against a window ledge on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre since 1728.
In 13th century northern Europe, groups of women formed their own autonomous religious communities. Neither nuns nor wives, the Beguines forged their own route through the strictures of Medieval life.
Papyrus is expensive. Scripture is repetitive. The earliest Christian texts used a clever set of abbreviations to save space and time.
Jagannath, the deity from whom we get the word juggernaut, receives offerings of food from the world’s largest kitchen.
Within the witch panic of Medieval Europe was a strange subset of trials that accused people of being both witches and werewolves.
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.