Michelangelo Hated Painting the Sistine Chapel and Wrote a Poem About It

There are plenty of stories about how painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was quite literally a pain for Michelangelo—the artist had to be in an incredibly awkward position to complete the work of art. He supposedly hated the task so much that he wrote a poem about it.

The sonnet, which was originally written in his native Italian in 1509, has been translated by American poet Gail Mazur. Here’s a sample: “My stomach’s squashed under my chin, my beard’s pointing at heaven, my brain’s crushed in a casket, my breast twists like a harpy’s.”

The Word “Tragedy” Comes from an Ancient Greek Word Meaning “Goat Song”

While “tragedy” is the word we use for a terrible event or a sad outcome, it has roots from the Middle English word “tragedie,” which can be traced back to Medieval Latin’s “tragēdia” and the Latin “tragoedia.” That word originates from the ancient Greek word “tragōidía,” meaning “goat song,” according to Oxford Dictionaries.

A commonly accepted theory for the etymology is that Greek tragedies were known as goat-songs because the prize in Athenian play competitions was a live goat.

There Is a Boston Typewriter Orchestra

When you’re in the mood to play a song or two, you could grab a guitar or sit down at a piano. But for some Massachusetts residents, typewriters are the instruments of choice. The Boston Typewriter Orchestra was founded in 2004 and its members use old typewriters to produce unique sounds that they turn into music—they’ve even released an album. As typewriter musician Brendan Emmett Quigley explains, different typewriter models result in different noises. For example, “a Smith-Corona Galaxy 12 has a power space function that makes a nice metallic clang sound.”

It Takes 68 Days to Swim the Full Length of the Mississippi River

On July 4, 2002, marathon swimmer Martin Steel began a journey in northern Minnesota that saw him making his way down the 2,348-mile Mississippi River in an effort to become the first person to swim its entire length. On September 9, he reached his goal, ending up in the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana after an incredible 68-day journey. That’s about 34.5 miles a day!

The World’s Oldest Hotel Has Been Operating Since 705 A.D.

The Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan in Yamanashi, Japan, holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest hotel in the world. The hot-spring hotel sits at the foot of the stunning Akaishi Mountains and has been in operation since it was founded by Fujiwara Mahito in 705 A.D. Since then, it’s been in the hands of some 52 generations of the same family for more than 1,300 years.

People Didn’t think the earth was flat in the middle ages

Since the time of Aristotle, the fact that the Earth is round has been accepted nearly universally among European intellectuals. So, if you taught that Columbus couldn’t get financing for his voyage because people thought he was going to sail over the edge of the Earth, you were taught wrong. He actually had trouble getting financing because people thought the East Indies were way farther away than he figured, and they were right. Plus, Columbus was an idiot

Marco Polo Didn’t Bring Pasta Back from China

In his earlier travels Polo had written he had eaten a food that was similar to lasagna. SO he knew what pasta was long before he ever stepped foot in China. The whole Story of him brining pasta back didn’t actually show up until the 1950s in the US. When a group of marketing people made the story up to get people to eat more pasta.