Saturday, April 23, 2011

The teeming brain of Nick Belardes

Belardes, the author of Random Obsessions, is a Gleaner with a capital G!
Joyce with patron Sylvia Beach
Did you know that
*    200 bands worldwide perform songs relating to the Harry Potter series?
*    Huckleberry Finn was self-published?
*    James Joyce had a canine phobia? (To fend off possible attacks he almost always sported a cane, the famous "ashplant" of Stephen Dedalus.)
*    Oscar Wilde employed a surrogate to send out locks of hair to admirers?
*    During WWI, the Brits executed 306 men for cowardice or desertion?
*    There's such a thing as "foreign accent syndrome"? And no, Sid Caesar did not suffer from it, but in 1941 a Norwegian woman with head trauma did, and was discriminated against for the rest of the war for sounding like a German.
*    The aptly named horny goat weed works just as well as Viagra in lab experiments? (The Chinese came up with that one …. & it's a darn sight better than rhinoceros horns and other assorted nostrums.)
*    Vinegar helps bruising and toothpaste insect bites? (not yet tested by yours truly)
*    Manuka honey from New Zealand can kill ~250 bacteria strains, and it helps heal burns? (ditto)
*    Sufferers from Capgras syndrome firmly believe their family members—and even their pets—are imposters? "One woman, looking into a mirror and seeing an imposter, screamed and called herself a hussy." (A 2006 National Book award winner for fiction, The Echo Maker by Richard Power's centered on the affliction.)
Well, I only knew the last one ….how about you??

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