“Istanbul (not Constantinople)” by They Might Be Giants

Hooray!! It’s National Falafel Day! Nearly every Turkish restaurant (outside of Türkiye) offers this delicious fried chic-pea dish. Conversely, people living in Türkiye do not frequently consume the dish. It’s not really a Turkish food. Unlike in The Middle East, Falafel is not served as street food in The Republic.

The City of Istanbul was once called Constantinople. Türkiye was formerly known as Turkey. Now it’s Türkiye not Turkey. Why did Turkey get the works?

The version by They Might Be Giants appeared on the album Flood which was released in 1990. It also appeared in an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures.

The song was first made famous in 1953 by The Four Lads.

The most recognizable landmark in The City of Istanbul would be the Haga Sofia. Below is a photo I found from “7 Interesting Facts About Haga Sofia“. First it was a Church then a Mosque. Then it became a Museum and then a Mosque again. They switch things up a lot.

Hagia Sophia domes and minarets in the old town of Istanbul, Turkey, on sunset

What food do you eat that has been wrongly lumped in with a certain culture’s cuisine? Tell us about it in the comments.

-Wacky Alex

Why You DO NOT Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” is a novelty song written by John Rox and performed by Gayla Peevey. She was 10 years old at the time in 1953. The Three Stooges went on to record a version in 1959. Many others have recorded it since then as well.

In the song, the singer expresses that she wants to become the proud owner of a hippopotamus. For example, these Lyrics:

Mom says a hippo would eat me up but then
Teacher says the hippo is a vegetarian

The problem here is that while it is entirely true that Hippos do not eat meat, they are still very capable of killing human beings.

According to the BBC, “the hippopotamus is the world’s deadliest large land mammal, killing an estimated 500 people per year in Africa. Hippos are aggressive creatures, and they have very sharp teeth. And you would not want to get stuck under one; at up to 2,750kg they can crush a human to death.”

National Geographic has reported on conflicts between Humans and Hippos in Kenya over land and resources. They Hippos are not playing and they are tired of our crap.

So while this is a great song, maybe we should give plush toy hippos to our kids and some reserve habitat to the hippos.