FYI Sunday

Did you Spring forward?

How many enjoy a good historic movie and/or book?

What about all those great costumes from the various eras?

Now here is your FYI for this Sunday……some of the great fashion trends in history were because of an STD….

You read that right….syphilis may have been a boon to trends in fashion….

Syphilis, while nothing to be ashamed of, is not what you’d call a glamorous condition. It starts with painless sores followed by a rash, but left untreated by antibiotics, the disease’s tertiary phase can cause unsightly bulbous growths, necrotizing ulcers, and hair loss, not to mention more pressing concerns like heart and neurological damage. According to some scholars, these unfortunate side effects didn’t necessarily leave sufferers cowering in the shadows—in some cases, fashion may have evolved to help hide the signs of late-stage syphilis.

The most commonly cited example of this is the powdered wig, which didn’t become the sign of polite society we see in period films until the influence of King Louis XIV of France. Historians note that the wigs were of middling popularity until this young king began to don them during the 17th century. Louis XIV started to lose his hair around age 17, so it’s not surprising that he turned wigs into a fashion trend. But it’s quite possible that his hair loss—and perhaps that of his cousin, King Charles II of England, who also loved a good powdered wig—was due to syphilis. In any case, the royal love of fussy wigs provided a great cover for the truly countless number of syphilis patients running around Europe at the time.

Another, slightly more controversial theory: That codpieces served to mask the otherwise suspicious bulge created by medicated bandages wrapped around genital sores. Not all historians buy this notion, and the codpiece’s remarkably short-lived period of popularity means we know precious little about them. Too bad shoving stuff down your pants didn’t stick around.

Finally, our third potential syphilitic fashion moment: Sunglasses. Because, well, where else are you going to put your fake nose? Listen to this week’s episode to find out more.

(Popular Science)

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History’s Top 10 Warriors

I study war and after many years I have found some warriors are just better than others…..I also found an article along these lines…….this is the author’s top 10 warriors of all times.

As long as there have been civilizations, there have been unending wars for power and land. These wars have produced some of the fiercest warriors the world has ever seen. Men who are not only exceptional at hand to hand combat but who were also great leaders and brilliant strategists. There were so many brave individuals who could fit on this list but I think these represent warrior states from around the world and throughout the ages.

10. Richard I (Lionheart)

Richard I was given the nickname Lionheart (or Coeur de Leon) for his exceptional fighting ability and courage. The duke of Normandy and the Count of Anjou, he ascended to the throne of England in 1198 after defeating his father Henry II with the help of his powerful mother Eleanor of Aquitaine. Richard took the cross in 1188 when he heard of Saladin’s successful conquest of Jerusalem. He raised funds by selling official titles, rights and lands to the highest noble bidder. He left for the Holy Land in 1190 along with French King Philip II and most of the military forces of Christendom. After being waylaid first in Sicily and then in Cyprus, Richard and Philip arrived in the Holy Land in June 1191. The joint forces first took Acre and then moved onto Arsuf before fortifying Ascalon. Arguments between who was to become King of Jerusalem escalated and Philip quit the Crusade and returned to France. Richard pressed on but when he realized he had no way of securing Jerusalem even if he had managed to capture it, he signed a peace treaty with Saladin and returned to Europe. He spent his final five years reclaiming his throne from his brother John and fighting against Philip’s advances into Normandy.

I strongly disagree with his choices…..I will agree with his choices of Spartacus, Saladin, Julius Caesar, Hannibal and Alexander….but that is where it ends.

My choices of the 6 other top warriors are…..Charles Martel who stopped the Northward advance of Islam in 732 in today’s France…..then I choose Gen. Qutuz in 1260 that defeated the Mongol army at Ain Jalut…..Genghis Khan for obvious reasons…..Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire for his  capture of Constantinople in 1453…..Washington for obvious reasons as well and finally Soviet General Zukov…..his plans helped defeat the Nazis.

Those are my picks for the top warriors….if anyone would like to add to the discussion please feel free to do so.

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“lego ergo scribo”