Random History Thread

Don't think I mentioned this elsewhere on the forum, but back in May I visited Washington DC (Library of Congress, WW 1 Memorial, Smithsonian Postal Museum and Smithsonian US History Museum) and Philadelphia (Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin Museum, Rocky Steps & Statue, & Museum of the American Revolution).

Was also opening weekend of Top Gun Maverick so saw that as well.
Was quite an adventure.
Took TON of photos (too many to post here but I did create a photo album for each day I can send links to anyone who messages me).

Interesting that a week after I returned home, Smithsonian magazine had a cover story about 2 of the places I visited (Library of Congress and WW 1 Memorial)!
This seems to be the most suitable thread for the how-the-hell-did-this-get-aired-on-television show I found out about. Copied from Wikipedia:

“Tomoaki Hamatsu was challenged to stay alone, unclothed, in an apartment for Susunu! Denpa Shōnen (January 1998 – March 2002), a Japanese reality-television show on Nippon Television, after winning a lottery for a "show business related job". He was challenged to enter mail-in sweepstakes until he won ¥1 million (about US$10,000) in total. He started with nothing (including no clothes), was cut off from outside communication and broadcasting, and had nothing to keep him company except the magazines he combed through for sweepstakes entry forms. After spending 335 days to reach his target, he set the Guinness world record for the "longest time survived on competition winnings".

Tomoaki Hamatsu lived in front of the camera, with only the possessions he won via the sweepstakes (save for basic utilities such as running water, heating and electricity), and the stacks of postcards and magazines required for entering the sweepstakes. Due to his nudity, an eggplant cartoon graphic covered his genitals when Tomoaki Hamatsu was standing on camera. Nasubi is the Japanese word for "eggplant"; the nickname was chosen due to his 30 cm long face that was said to be shaped like a Japanese eggplant, as well as the producers had to cover his genitals with an animated eggplant for the television audience. Tomoaki Hamatsu believed that he was being recorded and the show would be re-broadcast later once the footage had been gathered. In reality, the experiment was being livestreamed, with footage compiled and re-aired each week, complete with sound effects present at frequent intervals, using new tech to have 24/7 television to show him live.

At first, he received no food at all, drinking only water and losing weight. Eventually, he won some sugary drinks from his sweepstakes entries. Later on, he won a bag of rice, but having not won any pots or containers with which to heat it, he was forced to eat it raw, and after devising a makeshift heating container with a discarded bag, he was able to cook the rice by placing it next to the lit stove. However, canned and kibble dog food became his primary food source for some time after running out of rice. After winning a stuffed toy in a sweepstake, he carried on conversations with it as his sensei, as it was his only sort of interaction. He never won clothing he could wear (only ladies' underwear, that was too small for him to use), nor did he ever win anything to trim his growing facial hair and fingernails. He also won other prizes he was unable to use, like movie tickets and a bicycle (both of which would have required him to exit the apartment to utilize) although he soon adapted the latter into a stationary bike. When he won a television set, he was unable to use it at first, as there was no cable or antenna hookup in the apartment (intentional by the producers out of fear he would discover he was already on TV). He would then win a PlayStation game, a copy of the train simulator title Densha de Go!, alongside the controller needed to play it.

By this time, the show had become so popular within Japanese households, that people were starting to decipher the location of his flat, with paparazzi, fans, and even the press standing outside without Tomoaki Hamatsu knowing it. As such, producers were forced to procure a new space far away from the original location. He was transported blindfolded, and upon uncovering his eyes, he discovered a similar living space, along with all his previously won possessions. When he questioned if he had completed the challenge, he was instead told the change of space was for his new address to "bring in more luck". As such, he continued writing sweepstake entries, with a large chair and desk becoming his first items acquired in his new space. However, he was moved into yet another space after a long streak of misfortune in his entries. In this new space, his TV set became useful when he later won a VCR, which could be used with two previous tapes he had won, and would later win a proper PlayStation. He would end up playing his game for multiple days straight, ultimately forcing himself to stop in order to keep entering sweepstakes and achieve his goal.

After winning a set of 4 car tires worth around 84000¥, he closed upon his goal, which he finally achieved with a bag of rice, 335 days after starting. After being informed of his victory, he was given back his clothes and blindfolded and taken to a surprise location. Tomoaki Hamatsu happily went along believing he was going to get a special prize for his year of hard work. After they removed his blindfold, he found himself in South Korea. He was given a day at an amusement park, where he was able to enjoy Korean food, and ride on the park's multiple attractions. However, after finishing, he was taken to another apartment. He was once again asked to take off his clothes and challenged to enter sweepstakes, this time to win enough money to afford a flight with Japan Airlines to return home. However, When Tomoaki Hamatsu quickly met this goal after several weeks of entering competitions, it was revised multiple times, first to afford a ticket in business class, then first class; these goals were also met in a matter of weeks. When he had won enough to return to Japan he was blindfolded, clothed and taken to another apartment in Japan. When the blindfold was removed, he looked around, and instinctively took his clothes off, expecting to continue the challenge. However, the walls of the apartment fell away to reveal that he was actually in a TV studio with a huge live audience. Tomoaki Hamatsu was confused by this, because he thought the show had not yet been broadcast.

The entire ordeal lasted about 15 months, during which time his diaries on his experience of being locked away from the outside world became a best seller in Japan, and the TV show broke all records with 17 million viewers each Sunday night.

He reported being hot and sweaty wearing clothing for the first six months after his ordeal and had difficulty carrying on conversations for a long time.”

TLDR: guy lived in isolation for 15 months, while being live-streamed without him knowing (he thought the show would be edited together and broadcast later). He was only given water, everything else he had to win through mail-in sweepstakes. The challenge was to win stuff in the value of 1,000,000 yen total (~10,000 dollars). He completed this in 335 days, after which he was taken to South Korea, where he was challenged for another three months.
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I was always leaning that Jesus is a real person and this video just cemented it. Actually I thought that only historical source on Jesus was Tacitus which is apparently not true. I feel strange now.

*Pythagoras was not killed by the Samians, not even close.
There are no primary historical sources for Jesus. But most people think he was real, even most historians. I've long been on the "Jesus was not a real person" train, but it's a hot take, for sure.
There are no primary historical sources for Jesus.

Primary meaning contemporary? Two of the sources mentioned in the video are shortly after Jesus' death ~50 years max. What is impressive for me is that a few of them agree that he was crucified too (I always doubted).

There are a few exaggerations in Jesus mythology but overall I find the core story perfectly believable.
I've never seen a compelling reason not to believe Jesus was real. It doesn't make sense to invent the whole story, although I don't know what exact observation led to the story of the resurrection.
Well, it depends. If resurrection means the image of Christ talks to his disciples then I can easily believe it given to the level of spirituality, emotional bonding and intense electromagnetic fields this person carried when alive.

But resurrection in flesh? After crucifixion? I think this was an added exaggeration, just as birth from virgin, water made to wine and a few others.
Yep, definitely.

Step three: Profit.

(this is not the fullness of the argument and I'm not saying there isn't anything to the line of thought you guys present, I'm hottaking your hottakes, is all)

Similar to

birth from virgin

Insisting on virgin birth was also a colosally stupid idea.
First of all, it lessens the lineage from David, because the genealogy ends with Joseph, who is therefore not a physical father of the Messiah,

second of all, it was (and still is) against the concept of other Abrahamic religions, like Judaism, to which they belonged (the idea of the transcendent God - YHWH begotting a son with a human is absolutely blasphemical, unless it's true),

third of all, it more or less operates with Jesus being born outside of marriage, technically a bastard, which in Judaism meant he couldn't even be a rabbi, let alone the Messiah.
(and yes, the virgin birth narrative means stating outright that Jesus was born to Mary and was not conceived with Joseph, which is very dubious at best)

Just as the literal resurrection hindered spreading the faith among the philosophically minded Greeks (see Paul's failure in Acts 17;17 onwards).

All I'm saying is - you don't personally have to believe in anything, but other people believed it so much they willingly gave their life for it.

You might call them insane and I'm fine with that. You might call me clinically insane and okay, I won't argue.

It's just I find that to be more dignified than "well, it was a nice exaggeration" or "it made for a good story" or something.
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I'm not familiar with the expression hot take, in my case I feel comfortable with the word belief. I believe in most of Jesus' miracles, including Lazarus, his trip to the dessert, his transfiguration etc but some not, as I mentioned above.
And if you step back and think about it from a different angle, considering him as a mortal man in flesh like you and I, the message is more powerful and beautiful than if he miraculously appeared in a womb or resurrected in flesh etc. as if he were a superhuman.
So if you want for my own sake I choose not to believe some of the stories, as Jesus human makes more sense to my moral system.

I don't consider myself Christian by the way, I believe Jesus was a messenger and a holy man but not a unique case, or unique son if you like.
All I'm saying is - you don't personally have to believe in anything, but other people believed it so much they willingly gave their life for it.

People gave their lives willingly for what other conceived as wrong reasons. For instance a fighter of ISIS also gives his life willingly. Samurai did, lovers did, nazis did and so on.
I don't want to judge anyone but it the end they might as well had to give their life somehow to find purpose. Most of people give up our lives anyway at some point. Or so they say.

Especially the narrative of virgin served well the institution of legal marriage /family, allowing the rich (christians, conquistadors etc) having children -lesser humans with their staff or subjects and get away with it.
Yes many gave their lives willingly for Christ and I respect that and I consider him a god or a messenger but the people who gave their lives willingly so that bastard children do not have equal rights with the legal ones, I couldn't care less, it's not even in the true spirit of Christ why should I?

You are right. It would be way more dignified if I had said it's a shameless fabricated lie by evil people who had nothing to do with Christ who if they were at his sight he would have spat on their face.

second of all, it was (and still is) against the concept of other Abrahamic religions, like Judaism, to which they belonged (the idea of the transcendent God - YHWH begotting a son with a human is absolutely blasphemical, unless it's true),

The concept of virgin birth was probably added decades (if not centuries) later, when the new religion had already separated from Judaism and thus blasphemy was irrelevant. It makes little sense that Jesus or his environment were spreading this story during his lifetime. I mean even if it's true you don't say that.
I'm not familiar with the expression hot take

It's usually used to "kinda-edgy stuff I made up on the spot", but I personally use it as an easy/shallow/simple comment on something complex, which often seems more profound than it is.

That's not meant as an offence, however I do it too, often, it just felt to me the issue at hand requires a deeper discussion than was being held.

I'll try to respond later, when I have time, sorry.


The concept of virgin birth was probably added decades (if not centuries) later, when the new religion had already separated from Judaism and thus blasphemy was irrelevant. It makes little sense that Jesus or his environment were spreading this story during his lifetime. I mean even if it's true you don't say that.

Textual criticism -

Paul already writes about Jesus being literal son of God, equal to God, born of a woman in his letters, which are dated cca 20 years after the Crucifixion - technically it's the same thing, at least for Jews. He takes it as an unopposed fact already. Considering the fact the "kenosis" hymn in Philippians 2;5-11 uses different and unusual style and wording from usual Paul, there are theories he was already taking a pre-existing older hymn, this is generally accepted as possible, butnot universally.

The Gospels of Luke and Matthew, which explicitely talk about the virgin birth are not younger than 100 AD, but very likely much older (John, which is definitely the youngest, sometimes gets dated to 110, but usually earlier). These are already reflecting an existing tradition, with both probably working off other, older sources - but since the mentions about thr destruction of the Temple, they - in this version - are not usually considered older than 70 AD. Still, that's about 40 years and still probably the lifetime of several apostles.

Yet even at this time the Judochristianity was still the more significant branch (as opposed to paganochristianity) and Jews were still considered the main addressees. Also, these already mention the shooing from the synagogues (in the form of Jesus' predictions) and martyrdom. Also, since Judaism unlike Christianity was accepted by the Romans, the splitting off was a dangerous movement, because it led to... well, the martyrdom.

No, what we had was codified pretty early, definitely not centuries, any significant later additions are more in the realm of conspiracy theory.

Again, you don't have to believe it, I'm just telling you these people did.
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Physically, a woman can give birth still being a "virgin" meaning her virginity is still unbreakable until she delivers. But even like this it seems to me quite cheap people -even Apostles talking about such things to convince people about the divinity of Christ. This is why I presume they were later additions. I'm not including Paul here. I don't held him in high regard and I can perfectly believe he could write these things.

Or they explicitly say that this woman conceived without any act of sex? Can you share some links or references so I take a look? Even ancient text, I can read AC Greek.
"So you think that history is as easy as playing Schnapsen? Ha! You can learn history in a flash, but learning Schnapsen takes years of hard graft."
Johann Georg August Galletti (1750 - 1828)​