1. Lincoln had a Hoosier accent and spoke in a high-pitched voice. Given his tall stature and general epic-ness, one would think he had the dignified baritone of a classic politician, but according to William Herndon, one of his contemporaries, his voice was “shrill, squeaking, piping, unpleasant.” Fortunately, Lincoln was a captivating public speaker, and “whenever he began to talk his eyes flashed and every facial movement helped express his idea and feeling. Then involuntarily vanished all thought or consciousness of his uncouth appearance, or awkward manner, or even his high keyed, unpleasant voice” (Abram Bergen).
2. Lincoln’s favorite play was Shakespeare’s Macbeth. He read it and reread it constantly. In an 1863 letter to actor James Hackett, Lincoln wrote, ”I think nothing equals Macbeth. It is wonderful. Unlike you gentlemen of the profession, I think the soliloquy in Hamlet commencing “O, my offence is rank’ surpasses that commencing, ‘To be, or not to be.’ But pardon this small attempt at criticism.”
3. Lincoln loved tinkering with machines and is the only United States president to date to have registered a patent for one of his inventions. The invention, which received patent number 6,469 in 1849, was a device meant to help lift boats over obstructions via a system of large bellows. In his own words: “Be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, of Springfield, in the county of Sangamon, in the state of Illinois, have invented a new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant air chambers with a steam boat or other vessel for the purpose of enabling their draught of water to be readily lessened to enable them to pass over bars, or through shallow water, without discharging their cargoes.”
4. Lincoln loved animals. Having one’s photograph taken was very expensive in the 19th century, but he splurged to have a photo taken of his Laborador retriever, Fido, in 1860 (image below). According to one friend, he had a “particular weakness for kittens” and “ would take one & turn it on its back & talk to it for half an hour at a time.” As a child, his stepsister recalled, he made schoolhouse speeches advocating the humane treatment of insects, “Contending that an ants life was to it, as sweet as ours.” He was also known to go out of his way to rescue animals in distress or in danger. Once, Lincoln’s friends, who had been riding with him in the country, noticed he had gone missing from the group. When he finally returned, he explained that he’d seen two baby birds who had fallen out of their nest and he’d stopped to put them back with their mother. The other men apparently had a good laugh at this, but Lincoln said earnestly, ‘I could not have slept tonight if I had not given those two little birds to their mother’.”
5. Tall and gaunt though he was, Lincoln was deceptively strong and athletic. “For such an awkward fellow,” he wrote in 1864, “I am pretty sure-footed. It used to take a pretty dextrous man to throw me.” In 1831, the Carly’s Grove gang, a local group of ruffians, challenged Lincoln to a wrestling match. It was no contest, according to New Salem resident Thompson G. Onstott: Lincoln ”threw [Jack Armstrong, the gang’s leader] heels over head and gave him a fall hard enough to break every bone in his body.” Armstrong, however, harbored no ill feelings toward Lincoln—in fact, the gang leader respected Abe so much after the deftly-fought match that the two later became lifelong friends.
6. Lincoln could play the mouth harp. According to Lincoln historian Weldon Petz, he even played it during one of the famous 1858 Lincoln/Douglas debates.
7. Lincoln had a great sense of humor and loved to tell funny stories and jokes, even in Cabinet meetings. Said David R. Locke,of Lincoln’s sense of humor: “His flow of humor was a sparkling spring gushing out of a rock – the flashing water had a somber background which made it all the brighter. Whenever merriment came over that wonderful countenance it was like a gleam of sunshine upon a cloud – it illuminated, but did not dissipate.”
Hugh McCullogh, the then-Treasury Secretary, noted that Lincoln used humor to diffuse the tension that hung over the White House during the Civil War. He called Lincoln’s "habit of story-telling…[a] part of his nature, and he gave free rein to it, even when the fate of the nation seemed to be trembling in the balance.
Lincoln’s law partner William H. Herndon summed it up best: “In the role of a story-teller I regard Mr. Lincoln as without an equal. His power of mimicry and his manner of recital were unique. His countenance and all his features seemed to take part in the performance. As he neared the pith or point of the story every vestige of seriousness disappeared from his face. His gray eyes sparkled; a smile seemed to gather up, curtain-like, the corners of his mouth; his frame quivered with suppressed excitement; and when the nub of the story – as he called it – came, no one’s laugh was heartier than his.”
8. Lincoln once jumped out of a window to prevent the state Legislature from voting to close the State Bank. On December 5, 1840, the Democrats proposed an early adjournment of the legislative session, knowing this would effectively kill the State Bank. Lincoln and the other Whigs, who opposed the measure, knew the Democrats couldn’t get anything done if both parties weren’t in attendance. The Whigs tried to open the doors and leave, but the doors were locked, so Lincoln opened the second story window and jumped out. (His attempts to distract the crowd by acting like Spiderman didn’t work—the Bank eventually closed).
9. Lincoln was rather gauche when it came to the ladies. His wife Mary Todd remembered their first meeting at a society ball. Reportedly Lincoln walked up to her and said, “Miss Todd, I want to dance with you in the worst way.”
"And he did," Mary later recalled.
10. Lincoln constantly poked fun at his appearance. Walt Whitman, an ardent admirer of the President, wrote in 1863, “I think well of the President. He has a face like a Hoosier Michael Angelo, so awful ugly it becomes beautiful with its strange mouth, its deep cut, criss-cross lines, and its doughnut complexion.” Lincoln didn’t quite agree with Whitman’s poetic flattery. Once after his Democratic opponent Stephen Douglas accused him of being two-faced, Lincoln quipped, “If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?”
"And I got to make out with Bono. Goodnight!"
Reason number 259230843290 Amy Poehler is my hero.
captain america: the winter soldier is actually a romantic comedy about bisexual retired airman sam wilson and the sudden parade of hot people barelling into his life
I would have followed you, my b r o t h e r… my captain… my k i n g.
I DIDN’T LEARN ABOUT THIS IN DRIVING SCHOOL
Stop says the red light, go says the green
Wait says the yellow light, twinkling in between.
KNEEL, SAYS THE DEMON LIGHT
WITH ITS EYE OF COAL
SAURON KNOWS YOUR LICENSE PLATE
AND STARES INTO YOUR SOUL
THIS IS ALWAYS FUNNY
Actors revisit their famous movie roles
Fuck Yeah Feminist Thor.
#okay i love this both for the message it contains #and for the fact that now i’m just#imagining #thor #wandering around earth on his days off from avenging shit#and casually stopping people who are being assholes and being like #HELLO #I AM NOT OF THIS REALM #AND YOUR BEHAVIOR IS REPREHENSIBLE BY THE STANDARDS OF ALL CIVILIZED BEINGS #HAVE YOU PERHAPS CONSIDERED BEHAVING IN A LESS ABHORRENT FASHION #FOR I KNOW THAT IF YOU ATTEMPTED SUCH FOLLY UPON ASGARD EVEN MY BROTHER LOKI WOULD LOOK UPON YOU AS FOUL#ADDITIONALLY I AM SEEKING WHAT I AM TOLD IS THE BEST VENDOR OF DOGS THAT ARE HOT IN THIS CITY #IF PERHAPS YOU WOULD GUIDE ME I WOULD BE WILLING TO RECONSIDER MY ASSESSMENT OF YOUR CHARACTER #and people just#staring #at him #in fear/amazement #while he frowns at them radiating good intentions and Powers They Know Not Of #and his cape billows in the wind
That’s it. That’s settled. Thor’s superpowers are Good Intentions Radiation and Powers You Know Not Of. They’re super effective.