Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The softest down imaginable

It is said (by Sam Harris, in his Letter to a Christian Nation which I wrote about recently) that former leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung was very demanding about his sleeping arrangements.  He required that his bed should be at exactly 500m above sea level (which must have made him sea-sick if there is much of a tide in N Korea) and that his mattresses be filled with 'the softest down imaginable'.

Kim Il Sung liked a soft bed made of down
from the throats of sparrows.  (Image from here)
Apparently the 'softest down imaginable' comes from the throat of a sparrow.

To fill each mattress, the down of 700,000 sparrows is needed.  Since he had several residences, it would be surprising if the population of sparrows in the country was not somewhat affected.

As Harris goes on to say:

Tyrants who orchestrate genocides, or who happily preside over the starvation of their own people, also tend to be profoundly idiosyncratic men, not champions of reason.


krissthesexyatheist said...

That is so gross. Yuck


hmscollingwood said...

Larks tongues in Aspic. No longer available at either Harrods Food Department or Fortnum and Mason. It's a sad world.

However, if you comb the beach with a well trained dog you can still probably manage to knock up a fairly palatable Ambergris omelette.