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In 2002, Norwegian footballer Kenneth Kristensen signed for third-division team Floey and was paid his weight in shrimps.

The modern Spanish Navy is still called the Armada.

There are more Catholics in Scotland than in Northern Ireland.

A 2005 United States medical research project showed that 20% of interviewees admitted to taking Derbisol, a drug that does not exist.

The director and producer of the 1971 film Fiddler on the Roof was called Norman Jewison.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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Athens is the only capital city in Europe where the air is more polluted outside than inside.

In AD 380, the Catholic Church issued a law specifically forbidding anyone to read the Bible whilst naked.

There is a plant called Hooker’s Lips (Psychotria Elata).

In 2006, later Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

Since 1963, the reverse of the United States ten-dollar-bill has stated “In God we trust”. Between 2000 and 2017, the reverse of the Bank of England ten-pound-note has portrayed Charles Darwin.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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There is a community in Ontario, Canada, called Moose Factory. It is located on Moose Factory Island, near the mouth of the Moose River.

Between 1934 and 1968, the Catholic censorship guidelines that had led to the Motion Picture Production Code forbade Hollywood films to show innuendo, infidelity, nudity, sexual hygiene, prostitution, homosexuality, drugs, interracial relations, white slavery, and ridicule of the clergy.

An excerpt of Sir Roger Moore’s Twitter account description once read 007. Saint. UNICEF Ambassador.

Over 25,000 people died on the First Day of the Somme.

In The Simpsons (Season 5, Episode 5) “Treehouse of Horror IV”, Homer Simpson is put on trial by the Devil. The jury consists of Benedict Arnold, Lizzy Borden, Richard Nixon, John Wilkes Booth, Blackbeard the Pirate, John Herbert Dillinger, and the starting line-up of the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Conversations: Limbo and Poseidon


Sappho
Consider the recent deliberations of the Roman Catholic Church on the doctrine of limbo. Thirty top theologians from around the world recently met at the Vatican to discuss the question of what happens to babies who die without having undergone the sacred rite of baptism.

Galene
What is the doctrine of limbo exactly?

Helena
Since the Middle Ages, Catholics have believed that such babies go to a state of limbo, where they enjoy what St. Thomas Aquinas termed “natural happiness” forever. This was in contrast to the opinion of St. Augustine, who believed that these unlucky infant souls would spend eternity in hell. Continue reading

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At the 2016 Republican National Convention, it was illegal to bring a tennis ball to the convention centre in Cleveland, Ohio, but not a gun.

Two of the villages in the Champagne region of France are called Dizzy and Bouzy.

“T. Eliot, top bard, notes putrid tang emanating, is sad. I’d assign it a name: Gnat dirt upset on drab pot toilet” is a palindrome.

Steve Eichel protested against ‘pseudo-credentialing’ by acquiring a PhD in psychology from a mail-order university for his cat Zoe Katze.

In 13th century Italy, the Catholic Church forbade people wearing the colour blue.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Conversations: Abortion


Helena
Mother Teresa is a perfect example of the way in which an generally good person, moved to help others, can have her moral intuitions deranged by religious faith. Christopher Hitchens put it with characteristic bluntness:

“[Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.”

Galene
While I am in substantial agreement with Hitchens on this point, there is no denying that Mother Teresa was a great force for compassion. Clearly, she was moved by the suffering of her fellow human beings, and she did much to awaken others to the reality of that suffering.  Continue reading

Conversations: Doing Good for God


Lysandra
What about all of the good things people have done in the name of God? It is undeniable that many people of faith make heroic sacrifices to relieve the suffering of other human beings.

Helena
You’re right. But is it necessary to believe anything on insufficient evidence in order to behave this way? If compassion were really dependent upon religious dogmatism, how could we explain the work of secular doctors in the most war-ravaged regions of the developing world? Many doctors are moved simply to alleviate human suffering, without any thought of God. Continue reading

Luther on Celibacy, Women and Shirts


The Catholic Church was a thousand years old before it took a real stand in favour of celibacy in the twelfth century at the Second Lateran Council held in 1139, when a rule was approved forbidding priests to marry. But it wasn’t until the Council of Trent in 1563, when it definitively adopted the tradition of celibacy.

Protestants took exception to celibacy early on, arguing that it promoted masturbation, homosexuality and illicit fornication. Martin Luther singled out masturbation as one of the gravest offences likely to be committed by those who were celibate.”Nature never lets up,” Luther warned, “we are all driven to the secret sin. To say it crudely but honestly, if it doesn’t go into a woman, it goes into your shirt.”

“We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation.” ― Lily Tomlin

American Protestants in the 17th century, fearful of radical religious sects like the Shakers that celebrated celibacy, came out foursquare against the practice.

– Courtesy of historynewsnetwork.org