A blog dedicated to all of the educational things to be found in the Nancy Drew PC games.

Molybdenum

Questions, questions, questions! Oh, how dreary life would be without them!

Whether you believe in curses or not, I think we can all agree that they make for some interesting reading. And there’s plenty of them to go around, like…

  • Curse of Tippecanoe: From William Harrison to John F. Kennedy, every president who was elected in a year ending in zero died in office.  Some attribute this phenomena to a curse placed upon Harrison after he pulled some highly shady tactics against Native Americans in 1809.  Tecumseh, leader of the Shawnee natives, wasn’t having any of this, and gathered enough tribes together to fight Harrison’s forces for the next few years.  In 1811, Harrison scored a major victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe, which ultimately earned him a similar nickname. Tecumseh’s brother supposedly cursed Harrison after this battle, dooming him and all those elected in years ending in Harrison’s number to die before their terms ended.  And every president did, until Reagan and George W. Bush both survived assassination attempts on their lives and were able to walk away from the White House.
  • Busby’s Stoop Chair: In 1702 Thomas Busby married Elizabeth Auty.  Her father strongly opposed the marriage, and soon after the union took place Busby found his father-in-law waiting for him in his home.  While sitting in Busby’s favorite chair Daniel Auty demanded that his daughter leave Busby.  Busby didn’t take too kindly to that, and later strangled Daniel in his sleep.  Just before he was executed Busby put a curse on his chair, saying that all who sat in it would die just as Daniel Auty.  From that moment until 1972, 63 people sat in Busby’s chair. 63 people died.  The curse only ended when the chair was suspended above ground in the Thirsk Museum.
  • Little Bastard: This was the name of James Dean’s Porsche, the same one he died in.  When George Borris bought the car it immediately fell on one of his mechanics, breaking both of his legs.  Later two men - Troy McHenry and William Eschrid - decided it would be a great idea to race each other in cars with parts of Little Bastard inside.  McHenry died, and Eschrid’s car flipped over.  Bad luck continued to follow the car until it disappeared in 1960. No one knows what happened to it.

Further Reading:

Subject: Investigating Arson
Appeared In: Alibi in Ashes

  • 5% of all home fires are incendiary, usually in single-family homes.
  • The common time frame for these fires is between three p.m. and midnight.
  • 27,100 intentional fires were investigated in 2010.
  • The bedroom is the most common point of origin.
  • The majority of arsonists will stick around to watch the fire they set. Many of them have admitted that getting caught never crossed their mind, due to either apathy or arrogance.
  • Most serial arsonists are white males under the age of 30. Staples of their lives include barely a high school education, difficulty with interpersonal relationships, and previous criminal and/or psychological histories.
  • Arson, murder, and rape are tied closely together. If you have a serial offender in one, the chances are very high that that same person has a history of one or both of the other two.
  • Arson dogs are often pulled from other training programs, and go through at least three months of training. Labradors are popular choices.

Further Reading:

Subject: Zodiac Astronomy/Astrology
Appeared In: The Haunting of Castle Malloy

Superstition, history, and the blurred lines between the two are the main themes of the game. Astrology makes another appearance in Curse of Blackmoor Manor, but that is another post entirely. Until then, here are some interesting tidbits about the Zodiac, both the astrological belief and the astronomical importance.

  • Hitler used astrology to plan his attacks. He was told in 1923 that his birth date predicted great power, and later credited an astrological prediction with thwarting an assassination attempt in 1939. When the Allies found out, they spread bogus horoscopes saying that Taurus, Hitler’s sign, was incredibly unlucky. (Along with exploiting Hitler’s beliefs to predict his battle plans, of course.)
  • Astronomers mainly use the Zodiac as a convenient chart of the locations and paths of planets, moons, suns, etc.
  • There are two schools of astrology: Western and Vedic. Western astrology is the type you find in grocery store horoscopes. Vedic, which is Hindu in origin, uses sidereal Zodiac signs. It’s much more modern than the mystic Western charts, which have not been updated in over 2,000 years. The difference in position between the two Zodiacs is 23 degrees - that’s at least an entire star sign.
  • A Zodiacal cloud are groups of dust floating between the planets. Zodiacal light is sunlight scattered by these dust particles. It can be seen just before dawn or twilight, but it’s incredibly faint so anything less than a clear sky will obscure it.
  • The thirteenth sign, Ophiuchus, is completely astronomical.  In fact, there is absolutely no connection between the boarders of the astrological Zodiac and the astronomical Zodiac. Astronomy’s only concern in this field is making things efficient for scientists.
  • The name Zodiac is taken from the Greek zōion, which means ‘animal’.

Further Reading:

I am 100% IN LOVE with your theme. I tried finding it when I clicked on the "designed by" link but I couldn't :( Do you have a direct link to it? Sincerely, bra-crumbs-deactivated20131219

Fear not, friend! The theme is right here. The link in the sidebar seems to direct you to the designer’s personal Tumblr. To see their other designs, go here.

Subject: Nikola Tesla
Appeared In: The Deadly Device

Tesla, Tesla, Tesla. Like Marie Antoinette and Harry Houdini, Tesla dominates his game, his life and work crucial to discovering who is behind Niko’s death. Hearing Frank and Joe fanboy over him was adorable. The book here provides a good overview, but since you can never get enough Tesla, here’s a few more fun tidbits.

  • He spoke eight languages: Latin, Italian, French, Czech, German, English, Serbo-Croatian, and Hungarian.
  • He was born during a lightning storm.
  • July 10th is Nikola Tesla Day.
  • His mother was an inventor, too, creating household appliances for fun whenever she had the time. His father was a priest.
  • There is a sign labeled Nikola Tesla Corner near Tesla’s old laboratory. If you’re in New York, head for the 40th Street-6th Avenue intersection.
  • He holds the record for the largest man-made lightning bolt at 130 feet. It was so powerful that it could be seen and heard over 20 miles away, and caused his lab to glow blue.
  • He claimed to only sleep two or three hours a day.
  • He didn’t have to die poor; Tesla’s royalties on electricity alone would have made him world’s the first billionaire. Instead he sold his royalties for only 1.8% of what they were worth in order to keep his inventions accessible to the public.

Further Reading:

Subject: Victorian Dining
Appeared In: Warnings at Waverly Academy

  • Any meal that took place outside and after six p.m. was automatically considered a formal event.
  • All of the men were assigned a lady to escort into the dining room. The host took the highest ranking lady. This could be the wife of a high profile guest, someone new to the area, or a new bride. The hostess was escorted by her husband’s business partner or best friend.
  • Because Victorian dinners were so expansive, time was needed in between courses to allow for digestion.
  • Culinary schools first began popping up at this time, so it was considered highly fashionable to serve a course taken from a famous chef’s cookbook.
  • Anna Russell, the Duchess of Beford, invented the concept of afternoon tea during the Victorian Era as well. She was a dear friend and lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. Anna began having tea and small snacks sent to her room every afternoon to combat the afternoon grogginess we’re all so familiar with. To say people took to the idea is a gross understatement.
  • If you were well off, you ate meat every day. Those we would consider middle class only had meat two or three times a week. The poor were lucky to get a small piece of bacon.
  • Potatoes, on the other hand, were a staple of the meal regardless of economic status.  The truly destitute lived on the stuff.
  • Canned food was invented during this era. It was originally the French’s idea, but the U.K. decided they wanted in and patented the product in 1810.

Further Reading:

Subject: Harry Houdini and the “Watery Grave”.
Appeared In: The Final Scene

J.J. Thompson is a fictional character created to tie Houdini to the Royal Palladium Theatre, so the escape mentioned in this book is actually based off of two water escapes: the Chinese Water Torture Cell and the Overboard Box escape.

  • These both premiered in 1912, and are considered some of Houdini’s greatest escapes.
  • Because too many people were copying his Milk Crate act, Houdini came up with the Chinese Water trick, referred to as the USD/Upside Down Trick. His feet were locked in stocks, and he was lowered upside down into a glass case with the stocks locked in place. It premiered in Berlin’s Circus Busch on September 21st.
  • One time Houdini was hurled against the side of a building while performing this trick due to nasty weather. He performed the trick with a safety wire from then on; obviously, this was for prevention only, and did not effect the escape.
  • On July 7th, Houdini invited the press onto a tug boat in New York to witness the Overboard Box trick. His hands and feet were cuffed  and nailed inside a wooden crate, which was sunk using 200 pounds of sand.  Houdini escaped in 57 seconds.  The crate was found to be unbroken with his chains still nailed inside.
  • The original box is currently held in the American Museum of Magic.
  • After Houdini’s death, his remains were placed inside one of the boxes used in an underwater burial trick, and sunk in the same New York River where he first showed this stunt to the world.

Further Reading:

The Clue Crew Directory

thecluecrew:

So i was thinking of making a clue crew directory that maybe we coulld all put on our blogs and itll include like every nancy drew blog so:

Reblog this post if your blog is like 80 percent or more nancy drew :)

And once this hits enough notes ill start makign it and everytime someone reblogs it ill just add them in.

well yeah reblog away :D

(Source: thecluecrew, via justnancydrewthings)

Teeny Update

I’m blown away by the support this blog has gotten. There’s almost 60 of you following, and I’ve only made six posts! Thank you so much, Clue Crew, for welcoming me into your fold with nothing but positivity.

As of right now, I’m trying to reinstall all of my ND games on my new computer. Since I own them all except STFD, that takes a while. Then, because they’re new, I have to play through them again to get to the screencaps I need, instead of loading from a save point. I’ve considered taking shots from YouTube walkthroughs, but not only is the resolution and picture poorer, but I can’t control where someone moves their mouse. A random magnifying glass in the middle of a sentence is the last thing anyone wants to see.

Once all my games are back, I hope to post something every day or every other day. Until then, thank you very much for your patience. I have lots of information to share with you all, it’s just a matter of finding the right images.

Take care of yourselves, and stay beautiful!

Subject: Braille
Appeared In: Secrets Can Kill (Original and Remastered)

The Braille alphabet was needed to bypass the security system to the school’s boiler room. I thought learning how they were printed onto books was very interesting. Here are some more facts about Braille:

  • In addition to the list in the game, Braille has evolved to represent mathematics, scientific characters, accent marks, and foreign languages.
  • Braille is not a language, merely a code.
  • National Braille Week is October 7-13.
  • Children begin learning Braille by sorting small items, like macaroni, and strengthening their fingers. They crate their own stories with Brailling machines. By the time they’re teenagers, they can take notes just as well as anyone else can.
  • Louis Braille developed the system when he was 15-years-old. He was influenced by a military technique called night writing, a system that allowed soldiers to read notes in the field without any light.
  • The reason Braille works so well is that it’s designed to be read only with the fingertips, and the combinations of dots aren’t based on any preexisting symbol that requires visual cues.
  • There are three types of Braille, called grades. Grade One is when every letter of every word is printed. It’s handy for people still learning, and is used on short things like labels. Textbooks and the like use Grade Two, in which letters are combined to form contractions and whole words. (Books can be printed using Grade One, too, but Grade Two is more popular because it saves so much space.) Grade Three is even more condensed; it’s basically shorthand. Because everyone has their own method of writing that way, there is no official guide to writing Grade Three.

Further Reading: