I was going to share another YouTube hole, but today I'm feeling slightly more academic. Because in the age of crowd-sourced information, Wikipedia is the height of academia, right?
JK, I know it's not, but it's pretty damn convenient when I want to learn about something or someone, but I don't want to read a whole book. This usually happens at work when I'm supposed to be doing something else. Inevitably, I end up Googling a topic, clicking the Wikipedia result, and then it stays open in a tab for days while I slowly work my way through the article during breaks.
(Side note about breaks: I practice a simplified version of the Pomodoro Technique when I'm at work and I'm a big fan. Sometimes I get more bored/distracted and take a longer break, or I get too busy to take any breaks, but overall it's a nice way to break up my time.)
I've been trying to make note of these Wikipedia segues when they're especially interesting so I could pass on the knowledge. Guess I'll do that now! Sure, it might be a nice day out (it's sorta nice in NYC), but wouldn't your Saturday be better spent staring at a screen learning about bad doctors and Japanese cats? You know it would.
Here are some of my favorite recent Wikipedia discoveries:
Kaspar Hauser - A mysterious kid who wandered into Nuremberg in the early 19th century claiming to have been raised in isolation, who was maybe a secret prince, but more likely a mentally-disturbed scam artist.
Coconut shy - No, not an exotic type of insecurity, but a game of chance!
Tama the cat - A cat who was once the official station master of a train station in Japan. My favorite part: "As station master, her primary duty was to greet passengers. The position came with a station master's hat; in lieu of a salary, the railway provided Tama with cat food."
Uri Geller - Dude who claimed he could bend spoons with his mind, predict sports results, and even that he "communicated with super intelligent computers from outer space." Johnny Carson played a role in debunking his nonsense.
Henry Cotton - A New Jersey doctor and psychiatrist who, in the early part of the 20th century, thought that psychological problems were rooted in infections in people's teeth, colons, and other organs. So he surgically removed them. Fun!
Altamont Free Concert - You probably already know how this went horribly wrong, but still interesting to read the details of how a free concert with so many good artists was pretty much doomed from the start. (Also: watch Gimme Shelter.)
Picture Pages - Well, Bill Cosby ruined his legacy for us, but if I squint really hard and pretend he didn't assault dozens of women, I can appreciate the 70s-cool of this show. (Similar to my method for watching Woody Allen classics.)
Henry A. Wallace - Progressive, farmer, and FDR's one-time Vice President. Had he still been VP when FDR died, the country could have gone in a whole other direction (and likely a better one). I'm ashamed that I never knew about him until recently.
Now that I look at this list, I see that I really need to start Wikipedia-searching more ladies. But what can I say — I really like learning about men who were frauds (with the exception of Mr. Wallace, of course).
So do you now have multiple browser tabs open and feel an overwhelming rush of wisdom? Cool, you did it right. Happy Saturday!