Tuesday, May 11, 2010


The fellow above is one Karl Fredrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Munchhausen, born this day 1720 in Bodenwerder, in the present day Germany. We mostly know of him from the "disease" called Munchhausen by proxy, but he was a real life fellow. He joined the Russian army, fought in two campaigns against the terrible Turks, and came back home with a mind full of tall tales. Some of those tales included his riding cannonballs, and traveling to the moon, though I am not sure he rode cannonballs to the Moon, now that would have been a feat. There are actually two syndromes named after the good Baron. The first is Munchhausen syndrome, in which a person will feign, or simulate an illness to gain attention and sympathy. It was named in Munchhausen's honour by Richard Asher in 1951 (he named it out of respect for the Baron), the other syndrome is Munchhausen by proxy in a which person projects an fake illness onto someone in their care in order to appear the martyr. So for telling some cracking good yarns (or tall tales) that are still worth telling today, and having not one, but two illnesses named for him Baron von Munchhausen (May 11th, 1720-February 22nd, 1797, at the age of 76), you are my (258th) hero of the day.

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