Broca’s Brain sat on my desk for a week as a prompt for last Saturday’s post but I could not remember why. Since I was downsizing Carl Sagan’s book, I finally blogged about hoarding. But the intended and now recalled storyline was Spirit Rapping as referenced on page 48. Margaret and Kate Fox were 14 and 11 year old sisters who became a sensation in 1848 for receiving coded messages from the Spirit World. As their fame grew, credible investigations debunked the authenticity and Margaret confessed on October 21, 1888, before 2000 spectators at the New York Academy of Music. She demonstrated how she made the rapping sounds by cracking her toe joints, a skill she and her sister perfected after years of practice when they were young with pliable joints. They also used power of suggestion with wealthy clients who wanted to believe. Margaret later recanted her confession as the sisters descended into poverty. Still after all the scientific debunking, failed investigations, and the confessional performance, many who had been deceived refused to accept the fraud. Even today, some consider the Fox Spirit Rapping as real. Sagan’s take: “People are rarely grateful for a demonstration of their credulity.” I am not so gullible to naively trust Sagan, so I conducted my research on Wikipedia. Meanwhile, I am tutoring my 11 year old granddaughter Zofia (a notorious knuckle cracker) on the fine art of big toe and ankle cracking because she will need a career in something other than Math or Music.
In unrelated news, Adam continues to insist that he was never told not to eat forbidden fruit in Eden. Furthermore, he never ate any fruit and never offered any to Eve. While she was eating fruit, he claims he was out secretly hunting animals.