Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
-- Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5
Frankie and Slim
Happy New Year
Thursday, September 28, 2023
DID YOU KNOW...
Russian Czar Peter the Great Established a Tax on Beards
It wasn’t just maritime skills Peter learned on his “Grand Embassy.” He
also picked up a few fashion and grooming ideas — including a
particular interest in the freshly shaven chins of most Western European
men. Determined to integrate Russia into the increasingly powerful club
of European countries, Peter established (around 1705) a tax that
fiscally punished anyone sporting a beard. The tax was progressive, with
the well-to-do shelling out more for their facial adornments than the
peasantry; nobility and merchants could pay as much as 100 rubles a year, while peasants might pay one kopek (1/100 of a ruble). Yet the tax was almost universally reviled — and even helped spark a few riots.
The biggest opponent of the tax was the Russian Orthodox Church, which
regarded clean-shaven faces as sinful. Despite this stiff opposition,
Peter I stuck with the tax and was known to even shave off the beards of his guests at parties, much to the horror displayed on their now-clean-shaven faces.