Yesterday I was sitting on the Boston subway (aka the T), on my way to see Thor with a buddy of mine (it was better than I expected, but rather historically inaccurate). As I was people watching, I made note of the train ride activities of my fellow riders. In one car of approximately 70 people, I counted two books being read, 35 phones fiddled with, five pairs of conversations, two nappers, one adorable child befriending a random college girl sitting next to her, and the rest of the people stared aimlessly into subway space, lost in (or devoid of, I couldn’t tell) thoughts. Perhaps it is the nature of the travel, for trains are noisy and not very conducive to talking, but I was sad more people weren’t talking to one another. The only person who seemed to have made the decision to speak to a stranger was four years old, but let me tell you, when the college girl got off the train and waved goodbye to her new, small friend, both of their days had been made that much better. So, say hello to a stranger, exchange a smile, and maybe share a tidbit from today’s Headlines in History.
Bryan Daily Eagle (TX):
In 1903, the Wright brothers made the first controlled and sustained airplane flight. The problem with their plane, however, was it needed work done on it each time it flew. In 1909, a Romanian engineer, Aurel Vlaicu, developed a plane that needed no changes after it was flown (Fun Fact: Romania had the second air-force, after France). That, combined with a simple design, made the plane more available to a wider population. However, the usefulness of the airplane was still up for debate. Ideas like this one popped up regularly:
The Washington Times:
Newspapers, in general, keep bias out of their articles. Perhaps they favor one side or the other, but opinion pieces are separate from news. In this case, the editors of the paper decided such impartiality was not for them. To be fair, the charges brought against suffragette leader Lucy Burns were for writing on a sidewalk in chalk. Against the law, sure, but these women were trying to get people to stand up for their rights to vote! At least they’re not throwing hammers at judges like the suffragettes in England. So, the paper implores the public, “KEEP HER WHEREABOUTS SECRET.” Good guy newspaper.
Anadarko Daily Democrat (OK):
The first thing you will notice about this advertisement is the sheer size of the cheese. WHO CAN EAT ALL THAT!?!? Secondly, take note of the phone number you should call to get said cheese. If only phone numbers were still so short. It would make creating words out of the numbers difficult, however. In this case, the best option for an ad would be the attractive, “Dial us at ‘UG’!”
The Tacoma Times:
This next article has undoubtedly led me to the weirdest research yet. Apparently weighing brains and comparing them to those of famous people was a thing. Should you desire to read about brain weights, check out this book from 1907, A Study of the Brains of Six Eminent Scientists and Scholars Belonging to the American Anthropometric. Apparently Napoleon’s brain only weighed 1,500 grams. Benjamin Butler, former governor of Massachusetts, had a mighty brain of 1,758 grams. Other notable brain weights: Walt Whitman, 1,282 grams; Lord Byron, 2,238 grams (disputed); Franz Schubert: 1,420.
The Evening World (NY, NY):
Dang it Kaiser Wilhelm. I’m getting sick of the stuff you’re pulling.