The Weekday Ramble is a daily dose of sports, music, culture, and more from Rambling On founder Erik Ritland. For more information check us out on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or at our website.
Friday May 29, 2015
Topics for today’s #FunFacts include the weirdest sport you didn’t know existed, a philosopher who had a sacred teapot named Dickey, and a band featuring Neil Young and Rick James.
The curious case of the Reverend John Langhorne
I’ve always been intrigued by Utilitarianism, the idea that laws should try to make the most amount of people as happy as they can be. It goes beyond that, and it can get sketchy, but there’s no questioning the eccentricities of one of its founders. Jeremy Bentham (1742-1832) was a sharp guy with some, erm, interesting quirks. He had a “sacred teapot” named Dickey, walking sticks called Dapple and Dobbin, sometimes slept with a pig and cat he called The Reverend John Langhorne, and requested that the shrubs in his front yard be replaced with mummified corpses (he found them “more aesthetic than flowers”). They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore. Which is probably for the better.
Neil Young and Rick James, together at last
The Mynah Birds were one of Canada’s hottest r n’ b bands when they got signed by Motown to record their first album in 1966. Unfortunately proceedings got cut short when their leader, Rick James, got arrested for going AWOL from the Navy. The rest of the band, including future folk rock icon Neil Young, disbanded after the blow. James would come back to the label after serving his time, eventually recording funk classics like “Superfreak” and inspiring one of the funniest bits in television history. Thanks Dave Chappelle.
Only in Japan
Bo-taoshi is a popular Japanese game. As the Sports Illustrated website explains, “Each team is split into two sides, one to defend its own pole and one to bring down the other team's. The first team to bring their opponents' pole below a 30-degree angle wins.” They knock down the pole by climbing on top of each other, knocking each other down, and kicking each other in the face.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He was also Lead Staff Writer for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.