Internet Detritus #overkill

So many interesting things.


Futility Closet

The conscience fund

During the Civil War, the U.S. Treasury received a check for $1,500 from a private citizen who said he had misappropriated government funds while serving as a quartermaster in the Army. He said he felt guilty.

“Suppose we call this a contribution to the conscience fund and get it announced in the newspapers,” suggested Treasury Secretary Francis Spinner. “Perhaps we will get some more.”


Many contributions are sent by citizens who have resolved to start anew in life by righting past wrongs, but some are more grudging. In 2004, one donor wrote, “Dear Internal Revenue Service, I have not been able to sleep at night because I cheated on last year’s income tax. Enclosed find a cashier’s check for $1,000. If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send you the balance.”

Make for an interesting writing prompt.


Could we hear a 6 inch human? All sorts of interesting things to think about.

Puritan Valentine’s Day cards for The Scarlet Letter.

Nuns Forgive Break-in, Assault Suspect
Home Depot Purchases Wallpaper, Blinds Retailers
Utah Girl Does Well in Dog Shows
Judges Appear More Lenient on Crack Cocaine
William Kelly was Fed Secretary
Autos Killing 110 a Day, Let’s Resolve to Do Better
Dealers Will Hear Car talk at Noon
Arafat Swears in Cabinet
Lansing Residents Can Drop Off Trees

Misleading headlines . . . would be a good writing assignment.

Harris apparently consumed more than two pounds of sugar and 970mg of caffeine a day

Too much Coke . . . some math and nutrition potential. How much Coke did she drink? How much of X would she need to drink to get two pounds of sugar in a day?

Mental Floss

It’s common knowledge among Lincoln historians that Mary Todd had a “courting cake” that she baked for Abe while they were dating after buying the recipe from her favorite bakery in Lexington, Kentucky. He declared it “the best cake I ever ate.” Mrs. Lincoln later served it in the White House as well.

Full text here.

You could make it or have students create recipes that would capture the hearts of other historical/fictional characters.

Random Sources

The affairs of Zeus

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Nat Geo “Facts”