Thursday, October 27, 2022



Frederick II, the King of Prussia from 1740 to 1772, arranged a tour of inspection of the prison in Berlin. The prisoners fell on their knees before him, all vigorously protesting their innocence. One man alone remained silent and aloof.

Frederick called to him, “You there. Why are you here?”

“Armed robbery, Your Majesty.”

“And are you guilty?”

“Yes, indeed, Your Majesty. I entirely deserve my punishment.”

Frederick summoned the warden.

“Guard, release this guilty wretch at once. I will not have him kept in this prison where he will corrupt all the fine innocent people who occupy it.”


The terrain of Greenland is covered mainly with glaciers and barren rock, with only a few patches of tundra and habitable land.

Eric the Red named it Greenland on the principle that colonists would be eager to go there if the country had an attractive name.


I actually heard many years ago of a similar quotation from the Grand Old Duke of York, who reputedly gave advice to his troops:
“Never stand when you can sit,
Never walk when you can ride.
Take a piss whenever you can.”


Douglas Corrigan (1907 – 1995) was an American aviator, nicknamed "Wrong Way" in 1938.

In 1937 Douglas Corrigan applied to the Bureau of Air Commerce for permission to make a solo flight across the Atlantic in his 1929 Curtis-Robin monoplane (nicknamed Lizzy). After inspecting the aircraft the bureau refused permission on the grounds that it could not condone suicide: Lizzy lacked any safety devices, radio, or beam finders, and the extra fuel tanks that Corrigan had put on completely obscured the pilot’s forward view, so he had to look out of the side windows to see where he was going.

Undaunted, Corrigan flew from Los Angeles to New York in 27 hours in mid-July 1938.

Still denied permission, but appearing to accept the official refusal, Corrigan told the airfield manager at New York that he would fly back home to California. Departing on July 17, 1938, Lizzy was so weighed down with fuel that she travelled 3,200 feet along the runway before achieving takeoff.

Just 23 hours and 13 minutes later, Corrigan landed at Baldonnel Airport, Dublin, Ireland. “I’ve just flown from New York,” Corrigan announced to the airport officials. “Not in that thing!” someone said, and told Corrigan where he was.

“My compass froze. I guess I flew the wrong way,” exclaimed the man who shortly (and forever after) would be known as Wrong-Way Corrigan.

He became an instant celebrity on both sides of the Atlantic, receiving a ticker-tape parade in New York.

The Bureau of Air Commerce gave Corrigan only a five-day suspension.


A rider on horseback, many years ago, came upon a squad of soldiers who were trying to move a heavy piece of timber. A corporal stood by, giving lordly orders to “heave.” But the piece of timber was a trifle too heavy for the squad.

“Why don’t you help them?” asked the quiet man on the horse, addressing the important corporal

“Me? Why, I’m a corporal sir!”

Dismounting, the stranger carefully took his place with the soldiers. “Now, all together boys—heave!” he said. And the big piece of timber slid into place. The stranger mounted his horse and addressed the corporal. “The next time you have a piece of timber for your men to handle, corporal, send for the commander-in-chief.”

The horseman was George Washington.


Early in the Revolutionary War, Washington sent one of his officers to requisition horses from the local landowners.

Calling at an old country mansion the officer was received by the elderly mistress of the house. “Madam, I have come to claim your horses in the name of the government,” he began. “On whose orders?” demanded the woman sternly. “On the orders of General George Washington, commander in chief of the American army,” replied the officer.

The old lady smiled. “You go back and tell General George Washington that his mother says he cannot have her horses,” she said.


Shortly after starting a relationship with Yoko Ono, John Lennon took her to meet his aunt Mimi. "He came in all bright and breezy—typical John—and she followed behind," Mimi later recalled. "I took one look at her and thought, 'My God, what is that?'

"Well, I didn't like the look of her right from the start. She had long black hair, all over the place, and she was small—she looked just like a dwarf to me. I told John what I felt while she was outside, looking across the bay. I said to him, 'Who's the poison dwarf, John?'"

Lennon replied, "It's Yoko," and Mimi asked her what she did for a living. "She said, 'I'm an artist,'" Mimi later recalled. "I said, 'That's very funny, I've never heard of you!'"

Mimi also reminded John about the Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII, who, after marrying Mrs Wallis Simpson, "lost his popularity, and John, you'd better know that."

"He laughed it off," she later recalled, "but he knew I didn't like her and he knew I was a good judge of character…"

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