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Monday, October 6, 2008

Moribund the Burgermeister

Back in the Middle Ages, a curious phenomenon would sometimes occur. Many people would suddenly go insane, with hallucinations and wild dancing. In 1969, it would be called Woodstock. Back in 1569, they called it Saint John's Dance. Nobody understood it, so in keeping with the times, they blamed it on the devil.

Modern scientists believe it was a manifestation of ergotism, caused by a fungus which infests grains, particularly rye. It produces chemicals similar to LSD, so it really wasn't much different from Woodstock after all. Come to think of it, I'm sure there are people who think that Woodstock was the devil's work, too.

Leave it to Peter Gabriel to write a song about it. This is one of his very best. He never made a video for it, but a fan put his own on YouTube. Play it loud.

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Reading List

  • Man Is Wolf to Man, by Janusz Bardach
  • Don't Swallow Your Gum! by Aaron Carroll & Rachel Vreeman
  • Instant Replay, by Jerry Kramer and Dick Schaap
  • New York, by Edward Rutherford
  • The Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson

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