Thursday, September 15, 2011

The guy with the drunken elk

I am taking a physics class called Seven Ideas that Shook the Universe. Most of what we are talking about is pretty familiar to me since I am a dork and read things like The Universe in a Nutshell and A Brief History of Time for fun.

However, when the professor brought up Tycho Brahe he really caught my attention. It was a short sentence, in passing, about Tycho having a silver nose because his was shot off in a duel.

A guy with a silver nose?

Who gets a prosthetic nose? Tycho. That's who. And it was enough to send me clicking on the internet to find out more. I must research this man further.

What I have learned so far:

1. Born a twin, his brother died as an infant. However, his parents had promised to give him to his uncle. It doesn't say why other than 'to become a scholar.' When they didn't follow through and give away their son, he came and took him. Kidnapped would probably be an okay term to throw around here. But they never tried to get him back.

2. Tycho did get into a fight at a party and it resulted in a duel in which his nose got shot off. He, from then on, wore a prosthetic nose held on with 'paste' (read: he glued that shit to his FACE). However, green stains around his skull-when he was brought up for modern curiosity-suggest that he wore a copper one around the house and such. It was lighter and more comfy. Picture this for a moment : Guy with green stains and a silver and gold nose. He had to get laid A LOT.

3. He was loyal. He married a commoner and stayed with her for 30 yrs. Go Tycho!!

4. He had a pet tame elk. Yeah. Guy was a rockstar. But one night, at a party during dinner, the elk drank too much beer and fell down a staircase and died. It was a moose that liked to PARTY.

5. He also kept his own dwarf. His name was Jepp and Tycho thought he was clairvoyant. Tycho liked to keep him under the table during dinner. It doesn't say how the dwarf died but I fear beer and staircases due to his experience with the elk.

6. He died of some bladder ailment. First he couldn't pee then he could only do this in extreme pain. That we have the bathroom history of a guy that lived in the 1500's is fascinating to me.

Okay, that is all I know about him so far but I think you can see how I would have become fascinated by him. He is now officially on my 'if you could have a dinner party and invite anyone living or dead' list. Possibly top of that list, really.

Do you know anything weird about anyone from history?


  1. Sarah Winchester(the wife of the guy who made the Winchester gun) was totally batshit. If you get a chance check out the Winchester mansion in San Jose,California. The mansion is totally bizarre because she kept building random things until the day she dies to keep the "spirits of those killed by the winchester gun"happy. She refused to let President Rosavelt enter through the front door and made him enter the servants entrance, etc...

  2. Actually, I have read quite a bit about her. Yes, whackadoodle but it resulted in a very cool house. I did not get to see it firsthand however I do tend to tease Ryan that he is taking after her... LOL