Sunday, 8 November 2015

Random Stuff You May Not Know

History of Le Zouave - Zig-Zag, Random Stuff You May Not Know by Omar Cherif, One Lucky Soul
1- Le Zouave 

Have you ever wondered who the bearded man depicted on Zig-Zag rolling papers is? Well, for some of us he has been a companion for quite a while, so it seems natural to inquire into the mystery. 

In the 19th Century, during the battle of Sevastopol, a French soldier ― also known as a “Zouave” ― had his clay pipe broken by a bullet. He had the brilliant idea of rolling his tobacco in a piece of paper torn from a bag of gunpowder.

In 1894, the Braunstein Brothers perfected the process of interleaving papers in a zig-zag manner and introduced a cigarette paper booklet under the name Zig-Zag®. In 1900, Zig-Zag gained international recognition when they were awarded a gold medal at the Universal Exposition in Paris.

For over 100 years the image of Le Zouave has been part of all Zig-Zag cigarette papers as a tribute to that creative soldier. Today, Le Zouave and Zig-Zag are known throughout the world as a premium cigarette paper.


2- Avocado  
Definition and etymology of Avocado, Random Stuff You May Not Know by Omar Cherif, One Lucky Soul

“Avocado” derives from an Aztec word meaning “Testicle,” and “Guacamole” literally translates into “Testicle Sauce”.

The word Avocado comes from a Nahuatl Indian (Aztec) word “Ahuácatl,” meaning testicle. It is thought that the reference is either due to the avocado’s shape or the fact that it was considered to possess aphrodisiac qualities by the Aztecs.

In Spanish, “Ahuácatl” became “Aguacate” and eventually “Avogato” and then finally “Avocado”. In English, the fruit was first described as an “Avagato pear” because of its pear-like shape. Later, it also became known as an “Alligator pear” given the alligator-like appearance to the skin. Over time, the term “Avocado” became the common word used to describe the fruit in English.

Likewise, the word “Guacamole” derives from a Nahautl Indian word, namely “Ahuacamolli”, which is compounded from “Ahuácatl” and “Molli” ― the latter word meaning “sauce” or “soup”.

No wonder I freakin' LOVE them.

3- Panic 
Definition and etymology of Panic and Pan, Random Stuff You May Not Know by Omar Cherif, One Lucky Soul

Panic (n), meaning “Mass terror”, originates from French panique (15c.), from Greek panikon, literally “pertaining to Pan”. In Greek religion and mythology, Pan was the Arcadian god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds and rustic music, and companion of the nymphs. He was the source of mysterious sounds that caused contagious, groundless fear in herds and crowds, or in people in lonely spots, causing them to go mad.

On a parallel note, pandemic (adj and n.) originates from mid 17th century; from Greek pandēmos (from pan ‘all’ + dēmos ‘people’).

Pandemonium, on the other hand, is also from mid 17th century but from modern Latin (denoting the place of all demons, in Milton’s Paradise Lost ), from pan- ‘all’ + Greek daimōn ‘demon’.

 4- Psychonaut
Definition and etymology of Psychonaut, Random Stuff You May Not Know by Omar Cherif, One Lucky Soul
Literally, a psychonaut is a “sailor of the soul/spirit/mind”; from the Greek ψυχή (psychē “soul/spirit/mind”) and ναύτης (naútēs “sailor/navigator”). It is a person who explores their own psyche in order to gain deeper insights into the mind, for spiritual purposes or for the exploration of the human condition; someone who refers to a methodology for describing and explaining the subjective effects of altered states of consciousness, including those induced by meditation, sensory deprivation, or archaic and modern use of mind-altering substances — particularly entheogens (Hallucinogens).

5- Hysteria
History and etymology of Hysteria, Random Stuff You May Not Know by Omar Cherif, One Lucky Soul
“Hysteria” comes from the Greek “Hystera,” meaning womb or ovary, which also gives us the term hysterectomy. Modern examples of hysteria are mostly related to riot and chaos. But back in the Victorian era, it was considered a nervous condition in females, caused by their lady-parts. And like riots, those fits were stopped by screwing fire hoses. True story.

The featured image is of the so-called “water massage” or “pelvic douche” that was used to treat the condition. For women who didn’t like being shot in the crotch with a jet of high-pressure water, the doctor would use his fingers to create the same mysterious effect, which they referred to as “Hysterical Paroxysm”, before someone explained to these patriarchs what an orgasm was.

The humorous 2011 flick Hysteria is about these old times, and how they eventually led to the invention of the first vibrator. Amusingly, when in 1902 the American company Hamilton Beach patented the first electric vibrator available for consumer retail it was the fifth household appliance to become electrified. Priorities, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Now you know… what to do when feeling chaotic. 


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