“Stay” was written by Maurice Williams in 1953 when he was 15 years old. He had been trying to convince his date not to go home at 10 o’clock as she was supposed to. In 1960, the song was put on a demo by Williams and his band, the Zodiacs. The song was re-recorded with one line, “Let’s have another smoke,” removed in order for the song to be played on commercial radio. “Stay” remains the shortest single ever to reach the top of the American record charts, being only 1 minute and 37 seconds long.
Pseudonymous Don DeLillo novel. 1980
"Robert Greene [the hack writer of the 1590s] may best be remembered for an avian put-down of his young rival Shakespeare, whom he called “an upstart crow.” Almost as notoriously, Greene died of a surfeit of pickled herrings."
Ricky Jay, Celebrations of Curious Characters
"In the thirteenth century a noblewoman who slept under a picture of a beast subsequently gave birth to a child with ursine fur and claws. A “solution” was instituted by Pope Martin IV. He decreed that all pictures and sculpture of bears in Rome be destroyed."
Ricky Jay, Celebrations of Curious Characters. Jan Bondeson, A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities.
"You still do not understand. I am going to put it as simply as possible. They of the solar side saw heliocentrically what you saw geocentrically, and unless these two aspects are somehow combined, I, the visualized object, must keep shuttling in the universal night."
Nabokov, Bend Sinister
The Cultural History of Chicken, Chapter 913
Founded in 1955 by Friedrich Jahn in Munich, Weinerwald restaurant rapidly grew up to Europe’s largest chain of fast-food restaurants. In more than 1600 restaurants throughout Europe in 1978, they mainly sold rotisserie chicken and other chicken products. In 1978, Wienerwald purchased the 273-restaurant Lum’s chain from former Kentucky Fried Chicken owner John Y. Brown, Jr. The chain’s inability to market themselves as a provider of good tasting chicken, (rather than overcoming the US misconception that “Wienerwald” was a hot dog chain), plus their huge growth in 1978 brought enormous debts. Many of the restaurants in the USA and Europe were forced to close; Wienerwald declared bankrutpcy in 1982, divesting itself of its 880 restaurants in the United States. As of 2005 there were only 63 restaurants left in Germany and Austria.
iTunes reviews of Chimes of Freedom, the Amnesty International benefit boxed set of Bob Dylan covers.
"The “G” in G-Spot stands for Grafenberg. (Ernst Grafenberg was the gynecologist who, in 1950, first wrote of “an erotic zone” on the front wall of the vagina[…]) The term was coined by G-spot popularizer and researcher Beverly Whipple. Whipple contemplated calling it the Whipple Spot, but refrained for the sake of her children and other innocent Whipples."
Bonk, Mary Roach
Charles F. Brannock was the inventor and manufacturer of the familiar Brannock Device for measuring overall length, width, and heel-to-ball length of the foot. Brannock, proprietor of the successful Park-Brannock Shoe Store in Syracuse, New York, developed the device in 1925. Though there were competing measuring devices on the market, the Brannock Device quickly became the industry standard and is still used in shoe stores all over the world.