“Knowledge in a Nutshell” by Charles Reichblum
Filed Under: Media & Tech | Posted: 12/27/2012 at 9:40PM
Comments | Region: New York | United States
The loudest noise in recorded history was not an atom bomb, but an event that happened in 1883. An eighteen-square-mile volcanic island named Krakatoa in the South Pacific blew up. The explosion was so big that dirt from the island settled in all parts of the world — and the explosion was so loud it could be heard 3000 miles away. One person in history was both an internationally famous pianist and the prime minister of a major country. It was Ignacy Paderewski, the pianist who became prime minister of Poland in 1919, and remained in office almost a year before resuming his musical career. Napoleon never met his Waterloo at Waterloo. The famous Battle of Waterloo in 1815, in which Napoleon met his final military defeat, wasn’t fought in the village of Waterloo. The fighting took place south of Waterloo, between Mont St. Jean and Belle Alliance, in Belgium. Of the original Seven Wonders of the World, only one stands today — the pyramids of Egypt. One of the biggest bits of wrong information handed down over the years is the famous statement: "Nero fiddled while Rome burned." When Rome burned and Nero was its ruler in A.D. 64, fiddles hadn’t been invented. The first fiddles or violins were not made till the 16th century. And instead of fiddling, Nero actually led the fight to put out the fire, according to reliable historical accounts.
All that is from two facing pages of the book, 130 and 131.