Wipe out: collapse in the early Roman empire
The Erfurt latrine disaster was an event that occurred in Erfurt, Duchy of Thuringia in 1184. A number of nobles from across the Holy Roman Empire were meeting in a room at the Church of St. Peter, when their combined weight caused the floor to collapse into the latrine beneath the cellar and led to dozens of nobles drowning in liquid excrement. At least 60 people died in the accident.
Bosses behaving badly
1. "I had a boss sneak up behind a middle-aged female employee and pick her up, then immediately drop her down saying "I didn't think you weighed that much!" He could not stop laughing. He was the principal. This occurred during passing period in a crowded middle school hallway."
2. "I had a redhead boss who made us all sit down and watch a training video about how we shouldn't refer to him as a "ginger" because it is bullying."
3. "My boss used to carry around a backpack full of hammers and if you fell sleep at your desk he started banging a hammer on your desk until you woke up and then he would autograph the hammer and give it to you as a gift."
Did you know
1. 18th-century wig styles for men included the cauliflower, the comet, the staircase, the long bob, the short bob, and 'pigeons wings'.
2. The phrases: 'shut up', 'dirt cheap', 'dog tired', 'dinner-party', and 'brace yourself' were all first recorded in the works of Jane Austen.
3. Despite almost a century of study, nobody has yet discovered how eels reproduce.
Spilling the beans on the phrase...
Not just a riff from The Office, spilling the beans is 2000 years old. According to Bloomsbury International, one voting method in ancient Greece involved (uncooked) beans. If you were voting yes on a certain matter, you'd place a white bean in the jar; if you were voting no, you'd use your black bean. The jar wasn't transparent, and since the votes were meant to be kept secret until the final tally, someone who accidentally knocked it over mid-vote was literally spilling the beans—and figuratively spilling the beans about the results. While we don't know for sure that the phrase spill the beans really does date all the way back to ancient times, we do know that people have used the word spill to mean "divulge" at least since the 16th century. The first known mention is from Thomas K. Holmes's 1919 novel The Man From Tall Timber: "'Mother certainly has spilled the beans!' thought Stafford in vast amusement."