The Hidden Almanac for
Monday September 23rd, 2013
Episode 5
Previous episode: 2013-09-20
Next episode: 2013-09-25


Today on the Hidden Almanac, we will recount the flight of Saul Rothchilde’s amazing machine, as well as the history of the Wicker Man of Echo Harbour. It is also the Feast Day of St. Chelonia. And in the garden, flies can be an issue.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac. I'm Reverend Mord. Today is September 23rd, 2013.

On this day in 1873, the inventor Saul Rothchilde debuted his new flying machine. It seated three and was powered by two thousand and eighty-four individual hummingbird hearts, which were preserved by thaumaturgical means. Rothchilde was extremely old and may himself have been preserved by thaumaturgical means. Thousands turned out to watch the maiden flight of the machine, which was heralded as a new age in manned flight. The flying machine stayed aloft for nearly eleven minutes before crashing into the Autumn River. There were no survivors, although Rothchilde's body was never found.

On this day in the Year of the Dripping Moon,[1] seven hundred and fifty men, women, and children were burned alive in a giant Wicker Man in the town of Echo Harbour.[2] It is the largest human sacrifice by Wicker Man[3] currently on record. Investigations were immediately launched and the Echo Harbour fire department fined several prominent citizens for burning without a permit.

On this day in 1741, a stuffed corgi was placed upon the throne. The stuffed corgi proved enormously popular and ushered in an era of unexpected prosperity, ending several wars and funding widespread childhood education. The corgi was replaced seven years later, in a bloody coup, by a wooden penguin, who ushered in a dark age of tyranny and low environmental standards. Citizens rioted in the streets, demanding the release of the stuffed corgi, to no avail.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Chelonia. Saint Chelonia is a turtle.[4] Absolutely nothing else is known him (or her).[5] Whether he (or she) ever existed, or is an invention for the tourist trade is a subject of hot debate. Very small icons of Saint Chelonia are indeed sold by the hundreds to tourists and the city's visitor bureau has small turtles with halos stenciled over all the door frames. It is recommended that visitors do not wear necklaces of Saint Chelonia into certain parts of town, as this will mark them as an easy target for pickpockets.

If flies are troubling you in the garden, one well-known folk remedy is to hang clear bags filled with water over the doorways. This supposedly confuses the flies in some fashion. Some authorities swear by this, while others say that it only works if you put pennies into the bags of water. Our experiments in the Hidden Almanac Test Garden indicate that flies are not bothered by clear bags of water, with or without pennies.[6] They think it is stupid and will say unkind things about you behind your back. Consider alternate methods that leave both you and the flies with some self-respect.[7]

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Red Wombat Tea Company, purveyors of fine and inaccessible teas. Red Wombat — "We Dig Tea."

Also sponsored by Steve's Used Cars: so much better than Bob's Discount Car Lot that we lack the vocabulary to describe it.

That's the Hidden Almanac for September 23rd, 2013. Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, written by Ursula Vernon and performed and produced by Kevin Sonney. Our theme music is Moon Valley and our exit music is Red in Black, both by Kosta T. You can hear more from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013, Ursula Vernon.


  1. You guys know you make me crazy with these references, right?
  2. Our first reference to Echo Harbour! I'm using the spelling given in this episode's description.
  3. Wicker men are human figures made out of wicker used in pagan festivals. The most famous reference is a movie starring Nicholas Cage, which was a remake of a British film. There is no evidence that they were ever used for human sacrifice.
  4. Possibly a green sea turtle, the only member of the Genus Chelonia. Chelonia is also a name for the Order that all turtles belong to.
  5. I'm not sure how you'd tell the gender of a turtle anyway
  6. This was also tested by Mythbusters, and busted
  7. Although if you're also hanging up bags of hair to repel deer, you may not need to worry about self-respect.