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June 21, 2024 21 mins

Tracy and Holly talk about hard-to-spell words and good intentions without knowledge to go with them. Then Holly discusses some of Solon's laws before things derail into popcorn talk.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Welcome to Stuff You Missed in History Class, A production
of iHeartRadio, Hello and Happy Friday. I'm Tracy B. Wilson
and I'm Holly Frye. We talked about the Missouri Leviathan
this week. Yeah, something I learned about myself. I cannot

spell mascodon correctly the first time. I want one of
the o's to be an a, and I thought, yeah,
I thought maybe I would learn to spell it correctly
by the end of the episode. But what really happened
is that word learned what to automatically correct it to knowledge.

You figured it out. Yeah, there was some other There
was a second word in here that I was also
spelling wrong every time, but it was not a word
that happened as many times in this episode as massed on.
This is Zuglidon, because I love that one. I don't
even know how to say that one. I had a
very difficult time making my mouth include the correct letters

trying to say zuglanan. Yeah. Like I said at the
end of the episode, I really don't know how much
of this was him wanting to get people to come
to his museum and you know, make a living off
of these bones. How much of it was that, and
how much of it was just not knowing not knowing
what he was doing, being like, all of these bones

are together, and here are these bones from this other
place that look the same. Surely they are all one animal. Yeah,
he was like a pro at archaeological fanfic. Yeah, he
was just like, I'm this, of course this goes here.
Look how it do. I don't have any actual science
to back it up, but I think it matches. Yeah, Yeah,

this is one of those stories. Right. We have talked
a lot about intent on the show and how good
intent without any kind of seeking of nuance or education
is meaningless and problematic. Yeah, but I do think there's
we've got to be able to carve out a little

space for someone who doesn't even know that there may
be ignorant, And he probably thought he was making these
really interesting intuitive connections that could solve problems of like
what we didn't understand, but it was very problematic. Well,
and there there have been other hoaxes that were more

clearly hoaxes, right, that caused a problem, like the piltdown
Man that was a hoax and that influenced research into
the origins of humanity. Sending a lot of people like
down the wrong path right for a damaging amount of time,

And I find that that kind of story like very frustrating.
But this is one where the people who did know
what they were doing were immediately like the you have
too many vertebrae and too many pairs of ribs. This
was not how this animal was like, this was not

something that prompted a whole bunch of research based on
something that was fake. If it had been, I would
have found it way less funny than I did. But no,
it seems like the people that had more knowledge pretty
quickly were like, no, this is is not correct, not

correct at all. And this gets into that space, right,
There are instances where someone from outside of a field,
because they are not bogged down with the accepted laws
and rules that everyone has been taught, actually do make
advances because they can see something that like, if you

have been indoctrinated with those laws and rules, which are
often very you know, well thought out and sensible, you
wouldn't see right. But and I don't know if he
thought he might be one of Yeah, there's a charitable
part of me that wants to think he thought he
was really making a jump that established scientists just couldn't see. Yeah,

it is possible that there is some sort of introspection
on these kinds of questions in the diary of his
that was translated into English. I did not use that
as a source for the episode beyond like fact checking
some specific details, just because there was so much other

stuff to do. But like he had another He had
a number of things that he published in Germany, in
German that have not been translated into English, and in
some cases not only have they been translated into English,
but like there's just not a scan of them, right
that you know, maybe I could have worked with somebody

to find out more about And it's you know, it's
possible that within that material we have more of his
inner thought process, Yeah, to know whether he really thought
he was making a miraculous discovery or whether he was like,
you know, if I make a skeleton big enough, surely
people will come to my museum. It's like the the

memes you see about master plans, where it's like one
dig bones, two build together, three profits. Yeah. Yeah, it's
a lot like that. Yeah, blessings on you. I'm glad
that I finally decided enough time had passed to talk

about the sky, because while I'm not I'm not totally
sure my end verdict on him. Many fun things to
get to read about in terms of the things that
he wrote and things other people wrote about him interesting
to me today. There's basically another museum in the spot
where his museum was, by the Gateway arch, which I

think at one point was called the Museum of Westward Expansion.
That's not what it is anymore. It has been renamed,
and I forgot to refresh my memory on what it's
called now before coming in here to record behind the scenes.

We talked about Salin this week. Finally, I had a
hard time saying many words in this episode, some of
them words that were long and had lots of letters
in them, and some of them were like about or
two or I think it's because I mean, I too
am sure that I created horrible crimes against Greek names.

But when you're trying to work those all out, then
I find, at least for me, saying other completely normal
words becomes harder because you're fatigued. Yes, my brain had
been like it was so hard with like nine syllables.
What's this next sentence? I don't even know? Right, we
didn't talk a lot in specifics about the laws that

Salm passed like. We talked about what they related to
and how he had sorted it out. And there are
entire books written that we'll examine them, but I was
going to talk about a couple of them because they're
interesting to me. In particular, I was very fascinated by
laws about family life and marriage and women. And in

one of the Plutarch translations there are some good paragraphs.
One reads quote. Solomin's laws in general about women are
his strangest. For he permitted anyone to kill an adulterer
that found him in the act, but if anyone forced
a free woman, a hundred drachmas was the fine. I

don't know why he would find this strange, except that
women were not valued at this point. This continues if
he enticed her twenty except those that sell themselves openly.
That is harlots, which we know is you know, outdated,
who go openly to those that hire them. He made
it unlawful to sell a daughter or a sister unless
being yet unmarried she was found wanton. This obviously reflects

very outdated ideas, but I was a little bit startled
that there were consequences in Solomon's laws for treating women
badly unless you know they were immoral, which is a
whole other issue, because that seemed kind of progressive for
the time. The other thing that stood out to me

was that he forbade dowries all right because and he
also had some laws about that the wife going into
a marriage had to have some things just to start
her new life, almost like a hope chest, like three
suits of clothes and some household things, and that was all.

And his logic was that he didn't want marriages contracted
for financial reasons, but for love, kind affection in the
birth of children. Okay, also a little bit interesting, somewhat progressive,
still problematic, but at a time again when you know,
many many hundreds of years ago, seemed a little surprising

to me in some good ways, obviously clouded, but those
I just thought were very very interesting. I also like
his thoughts on money. And I will read four lines
that were written by Solon and then I'll be done
with quoting things he wrote. Some wicked men are rich,
some good are poor. We will not change our virtue

for their store. Virtue is a thing that none can
take away, but money changes owners all the day. And
I kind of love that, yeah, because I'm like it
goes very much back to the creases parable of like
having money is not what makes you have a good life,
or be a good person, or have value. I find

it interesting that he was trying so hard to make
a bunch of people happy that he knew he couldn't. Yeah. Yeah,
And I do personally like the idea that he left
Athens because he was so tired of listening to people
complain about his new laws, and he like, yany ow,
I'm getting out of here for a while. Yeah. I

promised I would tell the story of the microwave experiments. Yeah, yeah,
and I have maybe told on this show before. I
know I've told Tracy. Yeah. When my husband and I
got married, we found ourselves with three microwaves, which is
more than any two people. Mean. I had one that
came from my apartment, he had one that he had

been using in his apartment, and he had a third
one because he inherited some stuff from aunts and uncles
that had passed. He had a lot of aunts on
his father's side that were much older than his dad,
so they a lot of them had passed by the
time we then, and it had just been sitting around

and once we were like, we have three of these things.
We do not need three of these things. I gave
one a way to a woman that I knew through
work who was starting her own new life and apartment
and you know, was young and needed stuff. So that
was great. We got rid of one and one of them,
the one that we were going to keep, you know,

was in good working condition. And then the third one
was like fine but not great, Like we would have
felt weird giving it away to someone because it wasn't
in great condition. And so, of course, us being twenty
five and twenty seven at the time, our solution was
let's blow stuff up in it. Yeah, as a sort
of scientific thing. We were like curious because we, like

everyone else, have been told don't put put metal things
in the microwave, and we were like, but what if,
you know, we put on like protective goggles and stuff,
and we put those weird things in the microwave to
see what would happen. Yeah, and like we put in
a CD, which was pretty thrilling because that spun in
the microwave and shot off sparks. We put whole uncracked

eggs in there and they exploded and that was pretty fun.
And we did put in little small metal things and
they sparked a lot. When I was a kid, the
rule was don't put metal in the microwave period, and

in more recent years I've seen more like, well, you
can put some metal in like a small amount, and
it's should not touch the sides of the microwave. Like
it just it feels like there are a lot of
rules to keep in mind if you are wanting to
use metal in the microwave. For some reason, I have
a little a little tea cup that I make things

like hot chocolate in when I want to feel fancy,
and it has a very thin line of like gilding around. Yeah,
And one time, instead of heating up the milk for
the hot chocolate in a measuring cup, I put it
into the cup and I was just going to heat

it up in the cup, very dramatic sparking in the microwave,
and I was like, not doing that again. Yeah, And
now it probably looks like lead that line of wave
it has chipped a little bit, But I think I
think I rescued it fast enough that the like that
did not come to real harm. Yeah, ask me how

I know that it will look like less. Yeah, my
brother and sister I gave us for Christmas a bowl
that is made to cook things in in the microwave,
and the lid has metal on it, but like the
way it is shaped like it's it's it. I haven't

actually used it in the microwave. We've used it for
a lot of other purposes, but not for its intended
purpose yet theoretically fine, So yeah, I'm sort of imagining
folks that have listened to our episode from Wednesday and
not today may have already written, well actually emails about
all the nuances of metal in the microwave and man,

it's just easier to not put the metal in there.
That is exactly it. And I would assume that's why
if you look up that Alton Brown do your Own
Bagged Popcorn recipe on any site, they have amended it
to exclude the staple part. Well, and I can imagine
if the staple does happen to throw sparks off in

the microwave, that a paper bag in it that could
lead to some dramatic results. Listen, odds maybe that it
wouldn't do that, but the one time it does. That
is one time too many in my books, don't take
needless risk for snack. I just don't need to do it.
If you want to take that risk, it's on you.
I'm just saying, yeah, I usually lately, I've been doing

my popcorn in a saucepan. Yeah, and I have been
trying the method we're we're visiting how we make popcorn again.
But look, this is a big focus in my life
right now. Lately, I have been doing the thing where
you let the oil heat up with a couple of
kernels in it. Yep. Yeah, when they pop, you take
it off and you put the rest in, and you
let them sit for some amount of time. That amount

of time berries depending on who you're looking at. It
also will vary depending on your stove and the saucepan
you're using. So for me, it's like forty five seconds
is about right. For other people, they'll say a minute.
Others will say only thirty. Yeah. In any case, you'll
get a more even pop and it works. Yeah. I
have so, uh, I have not done it. What I
have done is put the oil in, put one or

two kernels in. When I hear them pop, it's ready
for the other kernels to go in. I don't think
I have. Then I don't like the next step has
not been taking it off the heat immediately when I've
done it that way. Yeah, So the idea is that
they're still sitting in that hot oil for that period
of time, and all the kernels come to a pretty
even temperature, right, so that when you put it back

on direct heat, they all start popping at about the
same time, and you don't get stragglers that you're waiting
on while other ones burn. I think I misunderstood what
you were describing, because what I had heard you say
was like, have a couple of kernels in there, they pop,
put your other stuff, and then like that, it doesn't
go back on the heat after that, uh not for
forty five seconds to a minute, and then it goes back.

Then it goes back on. Okay, I see, I see
you were correct, But then it went back on after
a period of Ye I was missing a step. Yeah, Uh,
I probably didn't include it. Yeah, we're still we're still
air popping at my house. We got an email from
somebody who asked if we had mentioned air poppers when
talking about popcorn, and I'm sure we did, because that

is the way we do it at my house and
it's just so easy, and so yeah we did, uh, yeah,
we for sure did mention it. But like, it's just
it's so easy, so non messy, easy to then season
it with whatever I want to season it with. Unless
you have a giant R two air unless you have
an R two air popper projectiles around your house. Our

air popper does tend to spit out a couple or
three unpopped kernels as it's getting started, but they just
go into the bowl and they might bounce around the bowl,
but they're not fast enough from our air popper to
like fly around the kitchen. Yeah. Oh those things have acceleration,
they have Yeah, they're fast. Yes. And again, my husband,

who doesn't like popcorn, is always like watching me do
my magical dances and try to set up my flume
made of foils so that they will go where I
attend them, and he's always just like, why this is
so hard, don't And I'm like, but it's Archid Dow.
I'm like our behind the scenes conversation of Sol and

his pack on popcorn. Again, listen, he probably didn't know
the wonder of popcorner. He would have written about it
and made a law. I think he definitively didn't. I am,
I am fascinated by Solon, and I had debated at
one point in time overdoing like a series of the

Seven Sages. Oh sure, but I don't know why. That
seemed less appealing to me after a while, and like they,
Ley's came up a lot in our our eclipse discussion recently,
so it was like, it would be weird to do
one on him because we've covered most of that ground, right,
a lot of it, so you know, we may get
to other stages. We'll see, Yeah, but now I check

that one off. There's also just a particular unless, I
mean unless your field is, you know, the ancient Mediterranean.
There's a particular challenge that's common in a lot of
those episodes in terms of doing the research, and that
can become fatiguing after a while. It is a bit arduous, yes,

And also a lot of the things that are really
interesting that have been written about it are old enough
that you can't really get them in print now, and
also kind of obscure enough that they're not necessarily digitized,
even though they would be in public domain. And like
some of the ones that are digitized you still have

to buy access to because they're you know, part of
some library. Sure, sure, so that can also be like
a little thing. And we're working exclusively from translation of
things that were written often many years after those people lived.
So like we would have to do that big caveat

we did at the beginning of this one on Everyone's show. Well,
you know, we're talking about it, but like, none of
this is really substantiated, right, which can be fun to
discuss if you know those guardrails, But also if we
did that all the time, it would get a little frustrating. Yeah,

I hope that this weekend no one asks you to
lead any kind of military effort to retake an island,
and no one asks you to completely reorganize a city.
That sounds so stressful to me. I hope you have
a stress free weekend. If this is a time when
you actually have to work and you don't have the
sort of standardized days off that a lot of people do,

I still hope you have a great time, that nobody
overburdens you with responsibility, and that everyone is cool to you.
Everybody'd be nice to each other. It's all good. We
will be right back here tomorrow with a classic episode,
and then on Monday with something brand new. Stuff you
Missed in History Class is a production of iHeartRadio. For

more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts,
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Tracy V. Wilson

Tracy V. Wilson

Holly Frey

Holly Frey

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