Blogroll

A selective history of eating those words

Where and when the phrase “You’ll eat those words,” the standard idiom to suggest something said or written will be retracted, originated is unknown. As far back as the Book of Revelation, John of Patmos must eat a book held by an angel (Rev.10:9). A book of proverbs printed at Cambridge University in 1670 contained […]

Snowmen: The Brussels “Miracle of 1511”

Starting with Gene Autry’s recording of the song “Frosty the Snowman” in 1950, Frosty developed into a pervasive symbol of snowmen in America. Snowmen, though, have a much longer and more noteworthy history.

According to Bob Eckstein, author of The History of the Snowman, the first image of a snowman appears in marginalia in a […]

The pornographic Renaissance book that originated in the Vatican

You’re moving into a new home, so you hire the skilled artist who decorated your current house to decorate your new home. For whatever reason, you fall behind paying him. Explicit drawings of 16 positions for sexual intercourse are on your walls when you go to see his work.

That’s reportedly the situation Pope Clement […]

The apocryphal Bible hoax that won’t die

Between 1879 and 1896, the Rev. William D. Mahan, a minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, issued three editions of previously unknown contemporary accounts of Jesus Christ’s life. There’s virtually unanimous agreement that his work is a fraud, and Mahan’s church suspended him for falsehood and plagiarism. Yet the last version, The Archko Volume, is […]

The Vatican’s time machine?

It had to be true. After all, it was there in black and white in La Domenica del Corriere (“Courier Sunday”), a long-established weekly news magazine: “Invented: a machine that photographs the past.” Not only was there a diagram of the machine but a photograph of an ancient event — the face of Jesus Christ […]