Sunday, July 13, 2014

I'll be with you shortly

Snapple Real Fact #944: Napoleon Bonaparte was not short. At 5' 7" he was of average height for his time.
So, he has been getting a bum rap. Had I not picked Snapple as my beverage of choice yesterday, I would have continued to think erroneously about shorty. I don’t know what compelled me, but I then decided to grab my Nexus 5 and I said:

“OK, Google. How tall was Napoleon Bonaparte?”

Napoleon Bonaparte the French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the latter stages of the French Revolution and its associated wars in Europe was 5’6” tall.

Snapple Real Facts vs. OK Google   FIGHT!

The myth that he was short stems primarily from the fact that he is listed as 5 feet 2 inches tall at the time of his death.  However, this is 5 feet 2 inches in French units.  In modern international units, he was just shy of 5 feet 7 inches. Now I know you are saying “well that is still pretty short”. That is true by modern day standards in certain places in the world, such as the United States. However, at the time in France, the average height for an adult male was about 5 feet 5 inches in modern international units. So in fact, he was quite tall for his day.

Despite this fact, Napoleon is primarily remembered for two things; being a master tactician and being short. The so called “Napoleon Complex” named after him, describes men who have an inferiority complex or more aptly “Short Man Syndrome”.
Interestingly, there is evidence that Napoleon was already considered short at the time of his death, despite being above average height among his fellow Frenchman. This likely stems from the fact that his personal bodyguards were all very tall and broad; there being height requirements for his guard. So wherever he went, people saw him with his guards who were all much bigger than him and thus he looked small in comparison, earning him the nickname “Le Petit Caporel” or in English “The Little Corporal”, though in his day this was typically used as a term of affection for him and not as an insult.

This “more than I needed to know” post led me down the online learning Rabbit Hole:

History of DPS
The company now known as DPS has evolved from a combination of discovery, invention and collaboration. This rich history includes the very birth of the soft drink in 1783, when Jean Jacob Schweppe perfected the process for carbonating water and created the world's first carbonated mineral water.

Did you know this? Jean Jacob Schweppe is the Pop of Soda!
Hence the phrase Soda Pop?

If Snapple Real Facts and OK Google came back with the same answer, I would have resumed eating my Sesame Chicken without any further incident. But this could not be left alone - the two oracles of modern day learning with differing “facts” - we must know who to trust!  Or is it whom to trust?

OK Google: is it who or whom?

I think the next time I eat lunch, I’ll leave my phone in the car. And order water. Make that tap water. These distractions during lunch are giving me agita.

OK Google: what is agita?

No comments:

Post a Comment