The Hidden Almanac for
Friday November 22nd, 2013
Episode 31
Previous episode: 2013-11-20
Next episode: 2013-11-25


On this day, Oliver Hill filed a controversial patent. It is also the anniversary of the Librarian Prince’s gout attack, and a new kind of candle debuted. It is the Feast Day of Saint Umber (and his beer), and in the garden it is time for winter crops.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord. Today is November 22th, 2013.

It was on this day in 1935 that Oliver Hill attempted to patent the “Hill Home,” a small home of remarkably versatile design. The patent was approved without incident, but it was later revealed that he had lifted the design from one traditionally used by the indigenous people of the Coriander Isles. Their buildings shared many of the key traits of the Hill Home, including multi-layered walls that could be used to provide insulation in winter or removed to allow ventilation in summer.

The resulting trial lasted four years and included many ugly racist overtones, but the Coriander Islanders fought it to the highest court in the land and won their case. The Hill Home Trials have been hailed as a turning point in the battle for the rights of indigenous peoples of the empire.

And it was on this day in 1982 that the Wincing Whippet Candle Company introduced a line of scented candles aimed at the male consumer. With the tagline “Flowers are for girls,” the Wincing Whippet line included such scents as “Salt Air,” “Smoke & Leather,” “New Car” and “Extremely Manly Cookies.”

Wincing Whippet changed hands several times and the ad campaign was discontinued as offensive. Most of the original scents are no longer available, although “Extremely Manly Cookies” can still be purchased under the new trade name “Mom’s Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip.”

Also on this day in 1781, the Librarian Prince suffered a bad attack of gout, for which he blamed witchcraft. Two cooks and an underfootman were beheaded, and a maid was exiled on suspicion of being born with red hair.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Umber of the Highlands. Saint Umber founded one of the first churches in the area, near a sacred well, and set out to convert his fellow man through baptism and free beer. Many locals were baptized ten or fifteen times under this system. It is questionable how successful Saint Umber’s mission was, but he is remembered fondly.

In the garden this week, it’s time to begin sowing for winter crops. In sufficiently temperate climates, a simple hoop-house can provide enough warmth to grow lettuce for much of the year. If your hoop-house collapses under the weight of snow, however, you are probably out of luck.

Consider starting greens in a sunny windowsill instead, if you have any that are not currently occupied by cats.

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

Also brought to you by Suzy’s Seasonal Assassins. Neighbors putting out the Yule decorations too early? Exhausted by holiday music in July? Suzy’s Seasonal Assassins will put a bullet in the head of holiday cheer. Discreet, professional, and non-denominational. Leave a note under your glass at the Silent Nightclub for a quote.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for November 22th, 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.