HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

1/30/2001

Of Music and Purple Urine


One of my many divergent interests is in History, whether real, revisionist, or imagined. This article takes a brief look at some of the illnesses that historical figures had and relates them to their work. Among the fascinating tidbits are Brahms's sleep disorder, William Pitt and Ben Franklin's gout (probably caused by lead poisoning), and Monet's cataracts. Also earning a brief mention is King George III's sudden descent into madness, which got a whole play and movie made about it. This illness was diagnosed centuries later due to an observation that the monarch had purple urine, which is apparently the classic symptom of porphyria.

As I was searching for more information about various composers, I stumbled onto this cool page of biographies. All of these are very interesting, although some have much more detail than others. So you search down the page, hmm, there's Beethoven, and Mozart, and Bach, and Saint-Saens, and Mahler, and John Lennon???? I mean sure, he was a fine song writer, but really. It's totally removed from context to include him with all of these other instrumental and classical composers.

For pop culture historiographers, this site is invaluable. It's a collection of timelines of various story arcs spanning the genres of TV, Movies, comic books, etc. For example, children of the 80s surely remember the Transformers television show and movies. With that timeline, you can put together the chronology of each of the major events. Or check out the X-files timeline, where you can place each episode. Other examples include Star Trek, Star Wars, Buffy, Red Dwarf, Indiana Jones, the Kevin Smith movies (Clerks, Mallrats, etc), and literally hundreds more. Pretty neat stuff.

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In more religiousity, I saw on Metafilter this page about how John Paul II is a heretical anti-pope, mainly because he's too liberal. This page comes from the True Catholics splinter group, and I won't even use an adjective to describe them because they kind of frighten me and I don't want one of them finding me and issuing a fatwa on me. I'm not alone in this fear: The guy who does Follow Me Here writes out S*C*I*E*N*T*O*L*O*G*Y* every time he posts an article on them to confuse search engines. I kid you not. I'll also be starting a "debater's corner" subpage soon. Look for the link.

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