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Post something Weird or Random

Old houses are often seen overhanging the street, because they were taxed only on the area of the foundation.

So this house design would have been a great idea back then? 🤔

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In Bill Bryson's book At Home, he recounts many things that seem odd today. The one that is coming to mind is that, in England for a time, people were taxed on how much glass was used in the home's windows. Architecture during that period had very tiny windows.
 
in England for a time, people were taxed on how much glass was used in the home's windows.
There's lots of funny old laws like that. Up until the 1970s there was a law in England that said any land not devoted to the production of food was to be used for growing hemp. That law didn't count for the nobility of course, they were allowed to have lawns, but the rest of the population was expected to grow hemp for the navy to use.

There were some old laws in Australia that said if I took on an indentured apprentice I was obligated to supply him with at least 2 pints of ale per day. And that if he got arrested on a civil offence I was allowed to claim him from the police lockup for the day and put him to work under my own reconnaissance, then return him to the lockup at the end of the day. I had a lot of fun telling apprentices about that one. :)
 
In New England, NE US, there was a law that you could not feed indentured servants lobster more than twice weekly. Back then, lobster was considered trash food. :)
 
In New England, NE US, there was a law that you could not feed indentured servants lobster more than twice weekly. Back then, lobster was considered trash food. :)
There's a similar reason for the law about ale here. Back in old English culture ale was considered as a food, a common worker's lunch was ale and bread and cheese.

There's also a good reason why people with European backgrounds have a much higher tolerance for alcohol than people from other parts of the world. Pollution. Dense populations using coal for heating and cooking meant pollution was so bad that they couldn't drink water. Pollution was that bad that they couldn't even collect rain water for drinking, it picked up all the soot in the air. So wealthy people drank wine and the plebs drank ale.
 
Glass used to be very expensive even if it was extremely far from flat and even, so you couldn't see much through it. "Plate" glass for a store window was once ground just like a lens, but at zero curve. Then Mr. Miller discovered that glass could be cooled while sitting on molten tin, and now it is flat and cheap.
BTW, just about a hundred years ago, some experiments with glass finally set science on the right track to understand why materials have different strengths, so they could be improved deliberately instead of by trial and error.
Info dump <OFF>
In Atlantic Canada, lobsters were considered insects. If school children found that they had lobster sandwiches in their lunch bags, they'd throw them away. Most of the catch went to fertilize potatoes - two per plant. Then somebody had the bright idea of feeding them to rich people in New York.
 
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The other night I found out about a an Australian puppet comedy show called The Ferals. It had real human actors and animal puppet characters such as a rat, a feral cat, a feral dog and a rabbit. It was supposed to be a children's show, but the comedy was actually pretty dark and there was some stuff that might go over a child's head. For example the rabbit's name was Mixy M. Toasus, which is a pun on the disease myxomatosis, which was used to cull the invasive European rabbits in Australia, and is the nightmarish "white blindness" in Richard Adams' novel Watership Down.
Also Mixy apparently was once a lab rabbit and, her fur is pink due to being dipped in various chemicals.
 
but the comedy was actually pretty dark and there was some stuff that might go over a child's head.
I hadn't heard of that show before and had to look it up. There's quite a few cultural connotations that would never be noticed by a lot of non-Australians too, although the Kiwis probably pick up on a lot of it. The title of the show has dark undertones, Ferals is a common use term here used to describe people in a derogatory manner. It loosely translates as Ratbags or Scoundrels.
 
I just got an ad in my email box for Viking Cruises.

I wonder if they offer a discount if you are willing to row...
full
 
Fort Tryon Park is in New York City. It’s way uptown, so I don’t go there too often. They do have a branch of the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) in the park that I do visit frequently - but I haven’t really been through the park itself much (I
probably should go more).

Before the pandemic they had some funny signs in the park. I didn’t know about them. Apparently, they’re not there anymore. Here’s an old article showing them:

 
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In sixteen hundred and ninety six, windows started to fill with bricks.
They took to their glass with an axe, because of the hated window tax.​
 
Finally! the truth about Darth!
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"Just say 'cheese', Gromit!"​
 
Evolution In Action!

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[Monoliths® available at Amazon now! Brought to you by Monolith-u-like™]
 

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