Thursday, 15 May 2014

René Goupil

René Goupil
Born: 15/5/1608
Died: 29/9/1642

René Goupil was the first North American to be canonised as a martyr by the Roman Catholic church and remains the only saint who, at the time of his death, could fit into a small satchel due to the amount of bits he had missing.

Goupil was born in Anjou, France and lost his first body part during the delivery when the midwife mistook his foot for a shrew escaping from his mother's womb and crushed it using a hardback copy of The Decameron.

Goupil's lopsided gait earned him the nickname 'Gimpy Goupil' in his village and spurred him on to become a surgeon in the hope of finding a cure for one-footedness. 

He became a missionary in 1640 after leaving the medical profession the year before when he accidentally lost his left forearm in a patient during an eye examination.

Sailing for New France in 1640, Goupil lost an ear to captain's parrot shortly after the ship, La Petit Badinage left harbour. The parrot attacked Goupil's ear as it was stuffed with peanuts as part of a medical experiment he was performing to see if peanuts could cause deafness if you stuffed enough of them into your ear.

Travelling from his first mission in New France to the Huron frontier, his party became lost in the snow after Goupil said Jesus had told him to keep going North until it got warmer again. It's believed he was actually talking to a bear rather than the son of god and the party voted to eat his left leg to stay alive until they found civilisation.

Eventually arriving at  the Huron camp in 1642, minus his other ear and right hand to frostbite, he enraged the Huron chief by saying "Bonjour, voulez-vous parler de dieu?" which in their language suggested his mother's breath smelled like walrus cock.

He was kicked out of camp and eventually massacred by a passing band of Iroquois warriors who mistook his denuded body for a man-turtle. He was canonised in June 1930 and was made patron saint of drastic weight loss

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Peder Horrebow, Astronomer

Peder Horrebow
Born: 14/5/1679
Died: 15/4/1764
Favourite Spice Girl: Baby

Peder Horrebow was born in Denmark in 1679 despite the advice of several doctors, the town mayor and his own mother, who referred to her son as 'just a nasty spell of heartburn' well into his 20s.

His love of astronomy was kindled in early childhood, watching the constellations whilst lying in the snow in the back yard of the family home until his parents relented on his seventh birthday and let him sleep in the house.

He bought his first telescope at the age of fifteen from his uncle but after concluding that Jupiter smelled like vinegar it became clear that his equipment was in fact a rollmop herring with a piece of beer bottle in the end. 

He eventually acquired accurate equipment as a 21st birthday present from his parents on the understanding they never had to speak to him ever again. This led to his paper published in 1737 that put forward the theory that the most distant object in the galaxy was his father.

In 1728, all of Horrebow's research papers were destroyed in the Great Fire Of Copenhagen. His house was then burned down in 1729 in the Minor Fire Of Copenhagen and the bottom of his coat caught fire in the Really Specific Fire Of Horrebow. His spate of bad luck ended with the Banning Horrebow's Mother From Owning Matches of 1730.

His greatest discovery was a method for establishing latitude using stars as reference points, which was used by sailors across Denmark for over three hours before they realised it didn't actually work.

He fathered 20 children in total, due to his belief that his penis could be converted into pointing to true North if tempered for long enough in a vagina.

His legacy is a crater on the moon named after him, after astronomers noticed it looked like his mother's mouth whenever Horrebow said he was coming to visit.