In 1894 The New York Times told of the fashion for live lizard jewelry; in the 1600s, women wore dogs in their muffs, and 2006 saw the advent of cockroach brooches. How times change...
Animals were worn for health reasons too: it was thought pigeons' bottoms could relieve snake bites, while strapping a chicken to yourself would cure the Black Death.
French king Louix XIII's premature baldness popularised the wig-wearing that dominated 17th century fashion, while his predecessor, Charles V, banned shoes shaped like penises.
Get your metal detector out - it's how 90% of treasure in the UK is found. And to qualify as a treasure trove, it only needs to be two coins!
Cryos sperm bank rejects redheads due to low demand (except in Ireland where ginger sperm sell 'like hot cakes') - unless they're redhead elephants, in which case there's the elephant sperm bank.
It's a myth that the band 10cc got their name from the average human ejaculate. Sorry, our mistake! Also, they have now found Kit Williams' lost jewel, and displayed it at the V&A Museum.
The first man to see a single sperm (1677) insisted that no masturbating was involved in the process.
The Netherlands celebrate Redhead Day, as well they might, given that redheads have more sex.
In the 1600s, ornamental hermits were all the rage.
The hilarious dictionary of what words should mean. Successor to John Lloyd & Douglas Adams' classic The Meaning of Liff
An Encyclopaedia of the Exquisite
This is where Andy learned about Jack the Clipper, and much else besides. A brilliant and fascinating book.
Alan Turing: The Enigma
Perhaps the definitive biography, and the place where you'll find the tale of Turing's buried treasure.
Why not get your hands on a copy of Kit Williams' book, mentioned by Dan, and see if you can crack his code (NB treasure no longer available)?
Fascinating new book from the deputy chief editor of the OED, where Andy learned that English borrows more words from Hawaiian than from Welsh
Q: How many people does it take to extract semen from a vulture?
One to hold the head, two to hold the wings, one to massage the back and cloaca, and one to catch the semen.
Semen from one man's ejaculate, lined up end to end, would stretch 6 milesSemen from one man's ejaculate, lined up end to end, would stretch 6 miles
Haole (n): Someone who's 'not from from round here' (Hawaii)
Grockle (n): Someone who's 'not from round here' (Devon)
Wiki (adj): Fast (Hawaii)
Mama (n): Father (Georgia)
Deda (n): Mother (Georgia)
Corgwn (n): Corgis (Wales; pronounced 'corgoon')
Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (n): State fish of Hawaii
Fizzle (vb): To break wind without making noise (17th c. English)
The Drosophila bifurca fruit fly produces sperm 20 times longer than itselfThe Drosophila bifurca fruit fly produces sperm 20 times longer than itself
90% of human sperm is deformed
Harvest mice live in Grand Slam hand-me-downs