Archive for June, 2013

12 Common Historical Misconceptions

Friday, June 28th, 2013

1. The pyramids of Giza were built by slaves.Source: The Guardian

The pyramids of Giza were built by slaves.

Contrary to popular belief, slaves were not forced to build the pyramids in Egypt. Excavated tombs near the pyramids support the theory that they were paid Egyptian laborers, who took great pride in their work and serving the pharaoh.

2. Emperor Nero played the fiddle while he watched Rome burn.Source:

Emperor Nero played the fiddle while he watched Rome burn.

According to Tacitus, a historian at the time, Nero was not actually in Rome when the fire broke out, he was in his villa in Antium (about 30 miles away).

When Nero heard about the fire he rushed back to Rome to organize relief efforts.

Also, it would have been impossible for Nero to have played the fiddle; it did not exist at the time.

3. People during the Middle Ages had a low life expectancy.Source: Wikipedia

People during the Middle Ages had a low life expectancy.

While life expectancy in the Middle Ages was low, it did not mean that people died of old age in their thirties and forties. People actually lived well into their sixties.

4. The Vikings wore horns on their helmets.Source: The Straight Dope

The Vikings wore horns on their helmets.

There is no evidence that Vikings wore horns on their helmets during battles. Our modern image of Vikings wearing horned helmets originates from an 1876 production of the opera Der Ring des Nibelungen. The costume designer, Carl Emil Doepler, created horned helmets for the Viking characters for use in the production.

5. Marco Polo introduced pasta to Italy.Source: Wikipedia

Marco Polo introduced pasta to Italy.

The story goes that Marco Polo brought back pasta from his travels to China. Most historians agree that Arabs introduced pasta to Italy in the late 7th century, during their conquest of Sicily. This was almost 600 years before Marco Polo was born.

6. Christopher Columbus proved that the Earth was round.Source:

Christopher Columbus proved that the Earth was round.

Educated Europeans at the time knew that the Earth was spherical, in fact it had been known since at least since the time of Aristotle.

The reason Columbus had a hard time getting support for his voyage was because scholars at the time disagreed with his estimate of the distance to India. Columbus believed the size of the Earth was much smaller.

7. Pilgrims wore all black, and their hats had a buckle on them.Source: Sail 1620

Pilgrims wore all black, and their hats had a buckle on them.

Pilgrims did not wear all wear black clothing with square white collars and cuffs. Their fashion was actually based on the late Elizabethan era, and they wore bright, solid colors (reds, greens, yellows, and purples).

They also didn’t wear buckles on their hats (called capotains), shoes, or waists. The image we associate with Pilgrims was actually created in the 19th century, when buckles became a kind of emblem of quaintness.

8. The Salem witch trials lead to people being burned at the stake.Source:

The Salem witch trials lead to people being burned at the stake.

The Salem witch trials of 1692 led to the arrests of 150 men and women, of whom 31 were tried and 20 were sentenced to death.

While 20 people were executed, none of them were burned at the stake. Nineteen of the victims were hanged, while one was crushed to death under heavy stones, in a method known as peine forte et dure.

9. Napoleon Bonaparte was unusually short.Source: Wikipedia

Napoleon Bonaparte was unusually short.

Napoleon’s official height was 5’7”, which was above average height for the time period.

The reason for the confusion about his height stems from the difference in measuring systems between Britain and France at the time. French inches were longer than Britain’s imperial inches. His French height was recorded as 5’2”, however Britain never adjusted for the difference.

10. Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake.”Source: Wikipedia

Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake.”

Marie Antoinette never said, “Let them eat cake.” The quote is commonly attributed to her, however it was actually from philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s autobiography, Confessions, in which he recalls a story he once heard of a great princess who when told that the peasants had no bread replied, “Let them eat brioche.”

It is unlikely that Rousseau could be writing about Marie Antoinette, as she was only 10 years old when his book was written in 1765.

11. Van Gogh sliced off his ear.Source:

Van Gogh sliced off his ear.

The infamous story goes that in 1888, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, cut off his left ear with a razor, wrapped it in a newspaper and then handed it to a prostitute named Rachel.

The reality is that he didn’t slice off his entire ear, just a portion of his left lobe.

Some historians, though, believe that Van Gogh actually lost part of his ear in a fight with his friend, the French artist Paul Gauguin.

12.Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern started the Great Chicago Fire.Source:

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicking over a lantern started the Great Chicago Fire.

A story published in the Chicago Republican stated that Mrs. O’Leary was milking a cow in her barn and that the cow kicked over the lamp, which caused the fire.

While the fire did begin in her barn, Mrs. O’Leary always maintained that her entire family was asleep in the house when it started.

Years later, in 1893, Michael Ahern, the reporter who wrote the story, admitted he had made it up.

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Great Jobs!

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Here are a few people that have provided excellent customer service in the last week. We appreciate all their hard work! If you happen to work with any of these people make sure to give them recognition in person.

Tyler Briggs and Jeremy Brace
​Recently, I placed a service call to DIRECTV after many problems with my TV freezing up all the time. It had been doing this since we joined in January. My wife was so upset she wanted me to go back to Comcast. The two gentleman that came on the service call were very polite, courteous and very attentive to our concerns. They were determined to cure the problems, and make us happy to be with DIRECTV. They would not leave until everything was right, they felt that the problem would not come back and we were totally happy. They were here for a few hours and they were VERY customer oriented. I wanted to write to you because I was a service manager for many years and know the importance of how service people are with their customers. These guys represented your company very well and should be acknowledged for that. I got a follow up call from DIRECTV to survey how the call went but was unfortunately disconnected and did not get a return call. I am going to remain a DIRECTV customer and they deserve acknowledgement for this.

Eric Osborne

We have been DIRECTV customers for a few years now and have always been satisfied with DIRECTV. In the last two weeks we have moved to a new home. The lack of organization / communication on the part of DIRECTV has been less than satisfactory. Between numerous appointment confusions, a Technician who immediately said there was no available signal, address mix-ups, and NUMEROUS conversations with customer service / movers department / bundle people / whatever other department I could have possibly been transferred to in a 37 minute phone call we were EXTREMELY close to cancelling our contract with DIRECTV. Eric showed up in the middle of all this confusion after being incorrectly sent to our former address. He waited for almost 2 hours to get the service changed to the correct address so he could help with our installation. Also, on a steaming hot Saturday at 4:00. After DIRECTV finally got their act together, Eric was able to begin our new installation. He was here until 9:30 that evening. He was very helpful and patient, and never received any help from a supervisor or any other available Associate. We were very pleased with the services that Eric provided and wanted to make sure somebody was aware of what good work he does.  Please let Eric know he did a great job, and we were very happy to have television after 15 days without! ​

Juan Delgado

​Meghan was very happy with Juan. She and her husband are new to the area. She said that Juan did her new install and was very friendly. He helped her feel welcome to the area and gave her some great restauraunt suggestions, as well!

Heather Anderson
Mrs. Miller called it to say that she was very happy with the service provided by Heather. She stated that she was glad that, after a bad experience considering the Line of Site Issues with her install and trying to get the second opinion, that someone called and did not try to pass her to someone else or assign blame and took ownership of the issue.

Great Jobs!

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Here are a few people that have provided excellent customer service in the last week. We appreciate all their hard work! If you happen to work with any of these people make sure to give them recognition in person.

Alex Snider

Anne called to compliment my technician Alex Snider. She said he ‘worked so hard in my home.’ She has an older home, and the job was very involved for him. She said he was very patient and diligent to get the work done right – despite how long it took him to complete the work (which was the better part of the afternoon!). Thank you, Alex!

Anthony Woods

Tony just left after successfully correcting many errors with our system. He did a wonderful job – was professional and efficient – but most of all he was friendly and happy to explain how to operate our system to its full benefit. Being rather technologically challenged, my husband & I really appreciated that! Thank you for hiring such a conscientious, talented, approachable young man as your Technician. It’s people like him that make us want to stay with DIRECTV!

Alvin Archer

Mrs. Hall was so impressed with the work Alvin did, she baked him a brownie cake with the words “Thank You” in white icing on it! She wanted us to know what a great Tech he was.

Cassidy Loyall

I just want to take the moment to tell someone how good your tech is. I tried to take the survey, but got hung up on one of the questions. He was a true gentleman. He was professional from top to bottom. He was great at building rapport with the customer. He didn’t just fix the problem; he eliminated the problem. He took the extra step to show me what the problem was. And his courtesy… you couldn’t ask for a better person. He was exceptional and by far the best tech you ever sent out. Keep him or else someone’s gonna steal him. On a scale of one to ten he was an eleven. Again, I say Great Job. He should be acknowledged for his service​.

10 Best Hikes in the US – Time for Multiman to Get Outside and Go for a Hike!

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Summer is finally here – and Multiman is excited to take advantage of the beautiful weather and scenery around him!

Here are the 10 Best Hikes in the US – have you visited any of them?

  1. Denali National Park – Alaska
  2. Mount Whitney – California
  3. Arches National Park – Utah
  4. Zion National Park – Utah
  5. John Muir Trail – California
  6. Glacier National Park – Montana
  7. Yosemite National Park – California
  8. Grand Canyon National Park
  9. Appalachian National Trail – from Georgia to Maine
  10. Pacific Coast Trail – West US, from Mexico to Canada

Check out this article for full descriptions on all of these beautiful places in our own backyard!

Great Jobs from Customers – Week of June 10 – 14, 2013

Friday, June 14th, 2013

We’ve had a lot of awesome Great Job Nominations from Customers this week – check out some of them below, or find the full list on!

Luke Varland

I would just like to take the time to thank you on behalf of a grateful husband due to the professional, courteous, and compassionate time taken by Mr. Luke Varland to accommodate a very difficult situation. My wife is returning Thursday from a month and a half stay at a psychiatric facility, when told by directv that we would have to wait until the 19th for service I was frightened as the doctors say that t.v. comforts her. Mr. Varland promptly returned a empassioned plea for help and arranged for us to have it installed this Friday. I cannot express the gratitude and thanks I have for Mr. Varland’s actions. If every employee you have is similar then you have a very fine company.

Jodie Whipple

Today we had a service call from DIRECTV tech Jodie Whipple. We just had to let you know that we were thoroughly impressed with this young man. We have been with DIRECTV for a long time, and this was one of our best experiences. Jodie was professional, pleasant and a great asset to your company. He diagnosed the problem within minutes, and, since my wife and I are technology challenged, he took the time to make sure everything was up and running as it should be. He never rushed and was always patient and polite, even taking time and care with plastic booties since the yard was muddy. We always rave about DIRECTV, but this is one time the company (and Jodie) get EXTRA kudos for service above and beyond.

Adam Halliwill

Customer is very pleased with Adam. She had problems and called DIRECTV; she talked to 2 Service Representations that couldn’t fix issues. Customer called Charles on his cell – he answered immediately, and within seconds had her up and running over the phone. When he did the original install, he was very professional and respectful. He answered all of her questions, and she couldn’t say enough great things about him.

Andrew Johnson

Thank you for the very prompt service Andrew gave us today with our installation of DIRECTV. He was very friendly and gave us very helpful hints. He’s a keeper!

Jeremy Brace and Tyler Briggs

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with a couple of your Technicians regarding the upgrade of my DIRECTV. Just wanted to drop you a line and tell you how pleased I am with the way your techs conducted themselves and how they worked very hard to fix all of my problems. Both were very knowledgeable and professional. With service like that, I will continue to be a DIRECTV Customer for years to come.

Make the Most of Your Summer

Thursday, June 6th, 2013