The indisputable highlight of July is one day of patriotic celebration, a festival of fireworks, parades, and red-white-and-blue flags waving in national fervor. I’m speaking, of course, of July 14—Bastille Day, the most important holiday in France (apart from March 26, Jerry Lewis’s birthday). But even the Francophiles among you might be surprised at how little you really know about the birthplace of ballet, Brie, baguettes, and body odor. So crank “La Marseillaise” and allow quiz show champ Ken Jennings to help you out with his formidable! knowledge of all things French.
French Myth #1: Napoleon Was Short.
Psychologists, armchair and otherwise, often trot out the “Napoleon complex” to explain why the disproportionately short among us are also disproportionately scrappy. You know, Ted from accounting who yells sometimes in meetings, or that Gary guy who goes extra hard on “D” during pickup basketball games—they’re the modern descendants of Napoleon Bonaparte, overcompensating for his lack of height by conquering Europe. But there’s at least one problem with this theory: Napoleon wasn’t as short as you think. Au contraire - he was actually of average height for his time.