Gwendoogle Part CXXII – 86 the Haunted Mansion

GwendoogleAnswers served with more research than usual. Huzzah!

Trebez searched: Do you ever like/read/write the horror genre? This can include any subset of the horror genre.
I am torn between using this image result:
 photo SherlockGivesAResoundingNope_zpsfypujf3p.gif

And this image result:
 photo NopeAndLeaving_zpsdllwjqje.gif

The first one has the right balance between boredom and intensity, but the last one is a pretty accurate depiction of what happens when I accidentally pick up a story that wasn’t properly advertised.

I don’t mind being scared. I don’t mind jumping out of my seat. I don’t mind knowing that when I pick up the book next I’m not going to want to put it down again until it’s finished. I have a real fondness for tension and twists that you feel viscerally.

I don’t like horror’s penchant for ending with the feeling that there is no such thing as virtue, just vices and vulnerabilities. I don’t like the feeling of inevitable doom, lesser of two evils, or nihilism.

I can’t remember the last horror story that I read or watched that didn’t leave me either angry or feeling as if I had just wasted my time.

But… genres are a fairly fluid concept. I’m sure someone somewhere would call a story I really like “horror.” (I do like vampires, after all.)

Summer searched: It has recently come to my attention that ’86’ is restaurant speak for ‘we’re out of that.’ Where does this come from?
’86’ has been American slang for either “get rid of that” or “refuse that” since at least the 1930s. It is most commonly used in restaurants, with it’s slightly more specialized meaning, but no one is quite sure where it comes from.

It could be from a standardized system of numbering electrical devices in which and 86 device is a LOCKOUT breaker.

It could be a holdover from the prohibition era, when Chumley’s, a well-known Manhattan bar had an entrance on 86 Bedford Street, and another on Pamela Court. Supposedly, the police would kindly call ahead and tell the bartender to ’86’ his customers because they would be coming in from Pamela’s Court.

It could be from a U.S. Navy code in which a piece of equipment may be designated “AT-6” if it should be disposed of.

It may have come from the Empire State Building which had two elevators: one that only went up as far as the observation deck on the 86th floor, and one started at the 86th and continued all the way up to the 102nd. Whether you were continuing up or not, the elevators always ended up empty at the 86th floor.

Pick your favorite, I suppose.

Kathryn searched: Do WordPress stats recognize when I read your posts off the new reader in this new format they’ve set up? Because that is definitely a glitch that they should fix at some point…
As far as I can tell, no. I would love it if they would.

(Though I also can imagine the headache involved because of the way they’ve embedded everything in the reader.)

MadamLibrarian searched: What is a totally false, but scientific fact from the 1500’s?
Apparently… Babies drink blood before they were born?

I’m having a hard time tracking down a legitimate source, but I know there were some strange ideas about blood floating around back them. The circulatory system was a bit of a mystery (we spent a while trying to figure out how it carried air when we could only ever catch veins carrying blood around) and there was a wide spread thought that we had different kinds of blood (four, actually), and that sometimes blood needed to be redirected with tourniquets or bloodletting if our bodies got a little out of balance… This doesn’t seem that far off.

I know for sure there was a guy who thought that you could grow a baby without the corruption of women if you buried a bottle of sperm in a pile of horse manure for 40 days, then fed the resulting tiny man blood for an additional 40 days. His named was Paracelsus, though I’m not sure he managed to convince anyone else of this…

Trebez searched: Do you ever hate-read (to read something that one professes to dislike, with the intention to mock or criticize) on the internet?

Not often. (Depending on your standards of “often.” I don’t think I just lied.)

But, you know, there’s nothing like a good bucket of righteous anger to make you want to practice a little world-conquest and be the queen this world deserves. It’s a really revitalizing feeling.

Summer searched: Can anything other than love be unrequited?
Unrequited usually describes love, but can be applied to any emotion that is not returned or rewarded.

So, sure, go pick out some some unrequited disgust, some unrequited fear, some unrequited boredom, or some unrequited I’ve meet you before, haven’t I? It’s all grammatically correct.

Kathryn searched: How long does a bee sting take to stop hurting and/or heal?
According to the medical website I was just perusing, most people will only have a reaction to a bee sting for a few hours. Swelling or pain after six hours (more or less) are actually an allergic reaction, and therefore the extent of them vary depending on the individual.

A mild to moderate reaction will usually continue to swell 24-48 hours after being stung. They tend to resolved in five to ten days. A mild reaction like this can occasionally indicate that your next sting will bring a stronger reaction, but it doesn’t always.

A severe reaction tends to heal in about the same amount of time, but because of the hives, the sweating, the nausea, or the general inability to breath, there’s usually a doctor’s visit in the process.

Flip the Otter searched: What were the marriage rituals involved for Indian royalty?
As far as I can tell, royalty followed basically the same rituals as the rest of the population, though I suspect with a lot more money and a lot more people involved. Royal or not, they would go through a series of ceremonies, traditionally beginning one month before the wedding day: the Tilak ceremony, Sagai ceremony, Sangeet ceremony, Mehndi ceremony, Vara Mala ceremony, Mandap ceremony, Vidai ceremony, and the reception.

The Tilak ceremony involves the men of both families, gathering at the groom’s home. It signifies the bride’s family accepting him as a future son-in-law.

At the Sagai ceremony, the bride and groom exchange gold rings, the families exchange gifts, and there is a meal (either lunch or dinner) afterward.

Only women are invited to the Sangeet ceremony. The women gather together to sing songs, crack jokes, tease and bless the bride, and dance.

Just before the wedding, Mehndi is applied to the bride’s hands, arms, feet, and legs in the Mehndi ceremony. After this, the bride will not leave her house until the wedding day, and she will not do any work in her new home until the Mehndi has faded.

Once the groom arrives for the wedding, he and his bride participate in the Var Mala ceremony. She attempts to place a garland around his neck while his friends try to prevent it and her friends try to help.

The Mandap ceremony is the most significant of the wedding day events. It takes place under a canopy with four pillars that represent the four parents who worked to raise up these two children, and includes all the most important rituals of the wedding.

The Vidai ceremony is the bride’s good-bye. She leaves her parents home, throwing rice and coins behind her as she goes to symbolically repay them for everything they have given her. Her father hands her into the protection and guidance of her new husband, now that all the other rituals have been finalized.

The reception usually occurs shortly after the wedding day, and is a party thrown by the groom’s family. It is a grand celebration, but also a chance for the groom’s family to welcome the new bride to the family.

It all sounds a little exhausting to me, and also very lovely.

Have a question for Gwendoogle? Leave it in comments below and I’ll be back next week to answer it.

The question bucket currently has: 11 questions


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