Sex [Noun.]


‘This word which originally denoted either of the two categories, male and female, is from Old French sexe or Latin sexus. Sex denoting sexual intercourse dates from the 1920s; the adjective in this phrase (mid 17th century sexual) is from the late Latin sexualis, from late Latin sexus.’

– Chantrell. G. edt. 2002. The Oxford Essential Dictionary of World Histories New York, United States: Berkley Publishing Group (2003) p. 458

Per Procurationem


From the Latin procurare, meaning to take care of, is a form of procuration. It involves the action of taking care of, hence management, stewardship, or agency. The word is applied to the authority or power delegated to a procurator, or agent, as well as to the exercise of such authority expressed frequently by procuration pro persona, or shortly per pro., or simply p.p.

Pope St. Pius IX

A common usage of per procurationem occurs in business letters, which are often signed on behalf of another person. For example, given a secretary authorized to sign a letter on behalf of the president of a company.

In ecclesiastical law, procuration is the provision of necessaries for bishops and archdeacons during their visitations of parochial churches in their dioceses. Procuration originally took the form of meat, drink, provender, and other accommodation, but was gradually changed to a sum of money.

The Pope of the Roman Catholic church signs papal laws and other formal documents with p.p. followed by his regal name.

Note also that English criminal law makes the provision or attempted provision of any person under twenty-one years of age for the purpose of illicit intercourse or prostitution, an offence, known as procuration.

Nelson’s Eye and the Battle of Copenhagen


The Battle of Copenhagen (Danish: slaget på Reden) was an engagement which saw a British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker fight and strategically defeat a Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored just off Copenhagen on 2 April 1801. Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack. Copenhagen is often considered to be Nelson’s hardest-fought battle which was won much to his credit. The battle is perhaps best known for his famous ‘mistake’ to miss Admiral Parker’s orders using the telescope with his wrong eye.

Nicholas Pocock’s The Battle of Copenhagen

At 1:00 pm Admiral Parker held the back rank in order to engage in a flank attack. He would have been able to see little of the main battle owing to gun smoke, though he could see the signals on the three grounded British ships, with the Bellona and Russell flying signals of distress and the Agamemnon a signal of inability to proceed. Parker was under the impression that Nelson might have fought to a stand-still at the frontine and was unable to retreat without orders. Retreating without orders was unforgivable for a British Naval officer since the Articles of War demanded that all ranks do their utmost against the enemy in battle.

At 1:30pm Parker told his flag captain, “I will make the signal of recall for Nelson’s sake. If he is in condition to continue the action, he will disregard it; if he is not, it will be an excuse for his retreat and no blame can be imputed to him.” Nelson ordered that the signal be acknowledged, but not repeated. Supposedly he turned to his flag Captain, Foley, and said “You know, Foley, I only have one eye — I have the right to be blind sometimes,” and then, history would have us believe that while holding his telescope to his blind eye, Nelson said “I really do not see the signal!”. Nelson’s second-in-command, Rear Admiral Thomas Graves, repeated the signal, but in a place invisible to most other ships while keeping Nelson’s ‘close action’ signal at his masthead. It remains unclear whether Rear Admiral Graves used this cloak and dagger approach on Nelson’s orders, deliberately flying the signal flags to retreat in a place where almost no other ship could see. Only captain Riou, who could not see Nelson’s flagship, the Elephant, followed Admiral Parker’s signal to retreat. Riou withdrew his force, which was then attacking the Danish Tre Kroner fortress. Riou exposed himself to heavy fire and was killed in the retreat.

However, it was at this time that the battle swung decisively to the British, as their superior gunnery took effect. The guns of the dozen southernmost Danish ships had started to fall silent owing to the damage they had sustained, and the fighting moved northward. According to British eyewitness accounts, much of the Danish line had fallen silent by 2pm.

The decisive crush was made at the time when Nelson ‘ignored’ Admiral Parker’s signal. Since then The Battle of Copenhagen would be mentioned in history as the naval battle that was won because Nelson ‘held the telescope to his wrong eye’ and in doing so missed Parker’s signal.

Codswallop [Noun.]


‘A load of codswallop is an informal way of saying ‘lot of nonsense’; the origin of the first element of the word is sometimes said to be the name Hiram Codd who, in 1878, invented a bottle of fizzy drinks; this theory has not been confirmed. The element wallop may be from a colloquial use of the word from the 1930s for ‘beer’ or any alcoholic drink.’

– Chantrell. G. edt. 2002. The Oxford Essential Dictionary of World Histories New York, United States: Berkley Publishing Group (2003) p. 103

18/iv mmxii


Age-otori is a Japanese word meaning ‘looking less attractive after a hair-do’.

The Gerber Baby.

The Gerber Baby

Athens is the only city in Europe where the air is cleaner inside than outside.

The footprints of the 12 astronauts who walked on the moon are still there. There is no weather on the moon.

The Afrikaans for astrology is sterrewiggelary.

Gerber baby foods was poorly marketed in Africa, because people though they were selling babies. This is because in Africa between 40 or 50 percent cannot read so packaging always represents what is inside the jar. The jar had a picture of a white baby on it to show it was baby food. However, people thought that the food contained babies, and white babies which did not like any local children. The picture of the baby on the jar was of Anne Turner Cook, later to become a novelist.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Toxic Bird


The Hooded Pitohui is a songbird of New Guinea with black and orange plumage.

Hooded Pitohui or Pitohui Dichrous

This species and its two close relatives, the Variable Pitohui and the Brown Pitohui, were the first documented poisonous birds. A neurotoxin called homobatrachotoxin found in the birds’ skin and feathers, causes numbness and tingling in those touching the bird.

Batrachotoxins (BTX) are extremely potent cardiotoxic and neurotoxic steroidal alkaloids found in certain species of frogs like the poison dart frog, melyrid beetles, and in a very rare instance; birds as well.

The Hooded Pitohui acquires its poison from part of its diet, the Choresine beetles of the Melyridae family. These beetles are also a likely source of the lethal batrachotoxins found in Colombia’s poison dart frogs.

Asclepian Rod or Brass Serpent?


The Rod of Asclepius, also known as the Asklepian, is an ancient symbol associated with astrology, the Greek god Asclepius, and with medicine and healing. The Asklepian is not to be confused with the caduceus; the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris, the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents instead of one and sometimes surmounted by wings. In Roman iconography it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury, the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars and thieves.The Asklepian sign consists of a serpent entwined around a staff. The name of the symbol derives from its early and widespread association with Asclepius, the son of Apollo, who was a practitioner of medicine in ancient Greek mythology. His attributes, the snake and the staff, sometimes depicted separately in antiquity, are combined in this symbol. Hippocrates himself was a worshipper of Asclepius.

An Asklepian on the so-called The Star of Life, a Common International Ambulance or Paramedical Sign

The significance of the classical serpent has been interpreted in many ways; sometimes the shedding of skin and renewal is emphasized as symbolizing rejuvenation, while other assessments centre on the serpent as a symbol that unites and expresses the dual nature of the work of the physician, who deals with life and death, sickness and health. The ambiguity of the serpent as a symbol, and the contradictions it is thought to represent, reflect the ambiguity of the use of drugs, which can help or harm, as reflected in the meaning of the term pharmakon, which meant drug, medicine and poison in ancient Greek. Products deriving from the bodies of snakes were known to have medicinal properties in ancient times, and in ancient Greece, at least some were aware that snake venom that might be fatal if it entered the bloodstream could often be imbibed. Snake venom appears to have been prescribed in some cases as a form of therapy.However, the serpent may have its origin in the Bible. The so-called Nehushtan, in the Hebrew Bible, was a sacred object in the form of a snake of brass upon a pole. The priestly source of the Torah says that Moses used a ‘fiery serpent’ to cure the Israelites from snakebites. It is mentioned in Numbers 21:4-9:4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. 5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.Coincidentally, on another subject: the Asklepian looks like a direct representation of ancient traditional treatment of Dracunculus medinensis, the Guinea worm. The worm peeks out of disablingly painful ulcerous blisters to lay eggs, primarily when the wound is placed in water to cool and soothe it. The practitioner would pull the worm out slowly by winding it around a stick.

Parthenogenesis [Noun.]


In theology; the Virgin birth, in reference to the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ.

In biology; referring to various aspects of asexual reproduction:

  1. (uncountable) Reproduction by the development of a single gamete – a reproductive cell, male sperm or female egg that has only half the usual number of chromosomes – without fertilisation by a gamete of the opposite sex; compare metagenesis, heterogamy.
  2. (uncountable, formerly) Asexual reproduction in toto; also known as agamogenesis.
  3. (countable, rare) An instance or example of parthenogenesis.
  4. (countable and uncountable) figurative uses of the biologic senses.